Saturday, May 13, 2017

Brown Eyes and Mother's Day

I've always been partial to brown eyes and have always assumed it was because my own eyes are brown. Then a couple days ago, thinking about Mother's Day, I had an epiphany....

....maybe the reason I like brown eyes are because the first eyes I gazed into were my Mother's brown eyes. As a babe, while I was nursing; as a toddler, when I was looking for direction or approval; as a teen, when I was looking for guidance and understanding; as an adult, to compare how alike our eyes were.

Thank goodness I had my mother's help and guidance when I became a mother myself at age 18. Not only did she help care for Douglas, she talked me through the 'baby blues', milk fever,  and the care and feeding of an infant. I was so possessive of my son, my mother was about the only one I would let hold him.

By the time I had Kari and Preston, I was a bit better about sharing them with others. I was also a little more confident in my own abilities - although I will admit that having so many years between Douglas and Kari was about like having a baby for the first time all over again.

I mentioned before about one of the surprises of being a mother was the overwhelming feeling of love and fierce protectiveness. I was once told I was "like a mother tiger protecting her cubs".

The first of this year's Mother's Day cards came a couple of days ago - this one from Kari. Her husband pointed the blank card out to her when they were at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, saying the painting had long been one of his favorites. ('Temptation' by William-Adolphe Bouguereau) She knows how I love artworks, but I wonder if she felt like this could have been a representation of the two of us when she was little? (Those curls!)

Mother's Day for me is always a dual reflection on being a Mother and having a Mother. And, oh, how I miss mine. She was the one person who was always there for me. I will never forget the last time I looked into her brown eyes. She had been in a coma for several days. I stayed at her bedside, holding her hand, talking to her, even though I didn't think she heard me. It was around four o'clock in the morning, the nurses came in to check on her. As they turned her to her side she opened her eyes and looked at me. It was only for a few seconds. I said, "Mom, Mom!", thinking, hoping, she was going to wake up.
The nurses were surprised. They said someone coming to like that seldom happened. Mom died about twelve hours later. Her's were the first brown eyes I looked into and mine were the last she saw.

I never feel that I was a good mother when my kids were growing up - that I didn't do enough for them or give them everything - but maybe it is because I felt like my Mom was the perfect Mother and I could never be as good as she was. Maybe I have been a good Mom to my children. Maybe we all have the Mother we needed?


  1. You were the perfect mother. We didn't everything that we wanted but we appreciated what we did have. I know that we didn't have a lot of money, but you could never tell.
    You are the best. Don't let anyone EVER tell you otherwise.

  2. Yes, sweetie, I thought the pastoral Mommy-and-chubby-baby were a nice, idealized picture of us. <3 Also, I'm with previous poster (Hah--P!)--I realize you're comparing yourself to your angelic mother, but for us, you were perfect. I wouldn't trade you or our relationship for anything in the whole world. Love you!