My childhood dinner table memories, generously crafted by Mom, are filled with fond recollections of friends, laughter, stories and the occasional zinger she offered. Recently, I must have been wallowing in thoughts of my Mom; I miss her wit and old country sensibilities. One night her words tumbled out of my mouth, surprising even me.
Mom didn’t say much, but when she did it was brilliant. She was masterful at being concise yet simultaneously multidimensional and finite. Mom used humor to illustrate our foibles and to often curtail many a transgression. She was all about common sense and never understood activities that were perceived as foolish; jogging, for instance, was unfathomable to her. Fast forward to my life with my daughter Brianna...
“Where is she? It is nine o’clock and she isn’t in her room or anywhere in the house, where is our daughter?” I asked.
“I don’t know,” my husband Bryan replied, “I was sitting right here next to you, remember?”
“But where is she?” I repeated.
“No answer on her cell, you try and call her,” I suggested, handing over his cell. As expected, because I am the disciplinarian, she answered his call.
“She’s out running,” he stated, while still on the phone. “It is after nine o’clock”, I snapped.
Brianna took pleasure in running, she knew that with each powerful stride, she was increasing her endurance and building muscle. She was at the start of another Motocross season and her main goal was conditioning. I did not understand why she was running in the dark and my mother would have never understood why she was running in the first place. Through my Mom’s eyes, running signaled only one thing, danger. In that split second, I received an instinctual DNA call and I began to channel my mother; boy, how she could offer opinions without ever saying anything directly! It made me smile.
“Running? FROM WHOM?” My Mom’s words smugly tumbled from my mouth.
Bryan patiently repeated the question to Brianna on the other end of the phone. I could hear my daughter make some snorting noise that clearly acknowledged my ridiculousness before she answered; “I am not running FROM anybody!
Undaunted and smirking I continued to channel my Mom, “Then who are you running TO?”
Exasperated, she answered, “NO ONE!” I have to give her points for at least answering.
“She’s on her way home” my husband consoled.
Unable to stop I asked, “from where, does she at least have a head lamp on?”
As the words left my lips I knew how foolish they were, but they were pure Mom and all that she was to me, her ancestral legacy, etched in my soul. I wonder if this aberrant manifestation will show up on my daughter’s lips one day when she is a Mom or, even better, maybe a surprising recessive gene will surface in future generations!
Who knows what the future will bring, but for that moment I was content to savor the memories of being with my Mom.