I was my Mom today.
I think there are times in many women’s lives when we flash, “I was just my Mom.” Maybe we say something that sounded just like her or react exactly the way she would have reacted. Maybe our expression in the mirror looked just like hers used to. I even kept several favorite articles of my mother’s clothing that I wear from time to time. (Do you think that’s weird?) They make me feel close to her.
Today I stepped into her shoes so fully, I felt her with me. I took Ethan to basketball practice, and I was just killing time in the gym, so I took out the baby afghan I’m working on. As I was crocheting, this feeling came over my body, and I got goosebumps. Suddenly I was in a swimming pool in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania in 1974. I was swimming freestyle, and with each breath, I could see my mother sitting in the stands of the pool – crocheting.
She took me to my swim practices every day, even though they were 45 minutes away. She sat for two hours every time while I worked out with the team in that noisy, humid pool. Sometimes she took me twice a day and drove home in between for several hours of rest and lunch.
She made afghan after afghan that summer while I got stronger and faster. She also taught me how to crochet that year. I was slow and uneven at first, but my hands finally found a rhythm, and I love the feeling of the needle going up and down the rows even now, 47 years and hundreds of blankets later.
I remember as a young girl thinking about how my mother was the only mother who sat there the whole two hours while we worked out. I wondered where all the other parents were. I’m sure most of them lived closer and could drop their kids off and come back, or others went to a cafe or went shopping, but my mother watched and made afghans.
Now so do I. I notice little things about Ethan’s shot, like my mother would notice little things about my stroke or my turns.
I love you Mom. Thank you for taking me all those years ago. Thank you for teaching me how to crochet. Thank you for teaching me how to take Ethan to practice and not mind one little bit.
I miss you.