I braided my hair today. Do you know what that made me think of? The waterfall of tears on the nights when you’d brush the mess out at the end of a braidless day. Remember how much I cried? How did you ever put up with all that crying?
Oh yeah, the tear jars! To this day I still smile when I think of how you decided to collect my tears with old pill jars for the day when I’d run out. Of course, I cried so much – I would eventually have to run dry…
Then I’d be a wet mess of crying and giggling with you squeezing the jars against my cheeks. “Hold still, I need to catch these tears for you!” I wonder if we found those jars today, would they still hold my tears or would they be dried up with nothing but salty remains?
How about the times when you couldn’t put up with all my laughing/crying? “Go play in traffic!” or “Why don’t you go see in traffic if I’m there!” Only to come home from night school at McGill to hear I’d been hit by a car in the city’s busiest intersection. Oopsie right? Or the time you caught me flashing my behind at oncoming traffic. Double oopsie right? You never thought I’d be obedient to a t and do as you say: go play in traffic. The stuff I put your through… *shudder*
Looking at me though, sitting in that high chair, crying and screaming because my hair was all in knots: what did you think? Being a ER nurse and dealing with life/death issues daily and me crying bloody murder over having you brush my hair? What did you think of me?
You being such a strong and capable woman. Such strength and determination – there was nothing you couldn’t do or accomplish. Have you ever wondered “How could this scrawny frightened little thing come out of me?” All you had to do was say BOO in my face and off scampering I would go like a beaten step-child.
I was scared of my own shadow. Scared of bothering people, scared of getting hurt, scared of being forgotten, scared of never being good enough. Just a little scaredy cat. Your total opposite. Maybe that’s why I reminded you so much of dad? That was probably the one thing you disliked most in him – his fears.
I am so sorry I made you feel abandoned when I left. I never meant to hurt you. Do you know that the day you let me go was the day you gave me the greatest gift a mother could ever give her child? I will forever be grateful to you for that day. It is what finally gave me strength. By allowing me to leave, you gave me what I needed to become more like you. A strong independent woman. OK. Maybe not the woman part since I will forever be a girl. But a strong fearless chick with total can-do attitude. THAT mother, comes from YOU. I love you more than chocolate, more than the endless’ness of the seas, and more than laughing til I wet my pants.
And I am thinking of this right now all because I braided my hair today…
Marie, je t’aime xo
p.s. Know that at least tonight I can go to bed without crying – because I won’t have a mess to brush out before going to bed.
p.p.s. Of course you also know this because – duh – I never brush my hair before going to bed!