So we are at my mom’s house last night having dinner and somehow the conversation got onto moms. Not sure how or why the conversation came up but it went something like this-
“Grandmom I have such a good mom.” and “You were a good mom too”
“Yes, honey you do have a good mommy”
“We have lots of moms in our family”
“We have two don’t we?” “I am mommy’s mom and she is your mommy”
“Yes, well no……….mommy has her other mom who came first, then you so she has two.”
EEEEEKKKKKK! My mom looked like she had been hit with a ton of bricks. She muttered something like “no…yes, uh huh”
I stood there and felt like somebody had split me right in two. Part of me wanted to come to her rescue in some way, say something to make her feel better. Then there was this other part of me who thought my daughter is simply speaking the truth, no explination necessary. Crap.
It made me think of the whole Santa thing-truth vs lies, literal vs conceptual. What do I mean by that? Well my first mother is literal (real) yet what I seem to seek is the concept (an idea, thought or abstract notion) of a mother in her. It’s like having an idea not fully formulated that bugs you and leaves you feeling like you are being pecked to death by a duck. I know she is literally my mother (the origin or source of something-in this case ME) but that is really as far as it goes. It’s probably the source of much of my pain because I still seek the notion of a mother in E and she’s not a willing participant. What is it that makes me need this? I think it has to do with feeling worthy. It is instinctual to want your mother to love you isn’t it? How devastating to walk around feeling like your own mother doesn’t find you worthy.
Then there is my mom who as much as she tries will always remain conceptual. It’s a shame really because in many ways she deserves the literal FAR more than E but that can never be. The title of my literal mother will remain with someone far less deserving. Nothing I can do about that. Nothing my mom can do about that. So why bother pretending?
When you learn that Santa doesn’t exist it is heartbreaking. Unless of course you have the idea of Santa to rely on. The concept of Santa is a constant in a world filled with doubt. He may not be literal today (as in living, breathing) but what does that really mean anyway? Not much. When it comes to defining “MOTHER” my mom is a constant ideology in my inner world filled with doubt. As crazy as she is she keeps me sane.
Last night my daughter spoke the literal truth but for my mom and I it was loaded with far more meaning and we have nothing to rely on BUT our concepts to help us on our journey.
So what did I say? I ended up not saying anything, just stuffed a fork full of rice in my mouth and smiled this unsure, uneasy, unnatural smile we adotees become so adept at.