This morning my daughter bought me a cafe latte with two shots of espresso and a bouquet of 11 purple tulips. Before leaving the house to get these, along with ingredients for a breakfast she would make, she kissed me and wished me a happy Mother’s Day.
I have been her mother for 30 years, and the truest thing I can say is that I have grown up alongside her. While she was out, I remembered how frantic I had been the day I brought her home from the hospital and how, out of sheer anxiety, I changed her diapers every 10 or 15 minutes because I didn’t know what else to do with myself — or her.
I remembered her bout with head lice and her coinciding bout with a mother who, because she couldn’t tell the difference between the nits themselves and the dandruff she gave her child as a result of excessive medicated shampoo scrubbings and excruciating combings, dragged out the ordeal for many more days than were needed.
I remembered the time I accidentally slammed her finger in our car door and fumbled around in my purse for what seemed like a slow-motion hour looking for a key to unlock it while she stared out at me through the window with eyes the size of saucers. And, I remembered how I had given her the silent treatment during a four-hour car ride back from the ocean because she was giving me the silent treatment during that same ride and my feelings were hurt. She was all of ten at the time, I think.
As we sat across from one another and ate the delicious ciabatta french toast she prepared, I felt a sense of peace and a feeling of great gratitude that she had survived my childhood.