Today is Mother's Day in the US. I won't go into my feelings on why or why not one day a year is even enough to tell someone like a mother thank you, or why in general days like this drive me nuts because it's so manufactured and false, and that I think if you love someone you should show them that love EVERYDAY, and if you want to send them a gift just SEND IT and don't wait for a retail-sanctioned holiday. Ok, well I kind of did go into my feelings on that, whatever, I'll stop. (gets off high horse)(trips and falls. I never was much for horses)
So, my mom. She's fucking awesome. Granted, we hated each other from my age 13 to about 17 (I was a total and complete pain in the ass and I still wonder why she didn't just cage me up and leave me for the dogs to gnaw on). Mom didn't understand my American teenage ways, her being post-war German, and I didn't understand her making fun of my American teenage ways. I mean, there I was, angsting over if that guy liked me, or if my butt looked big, or if my hair looked JUST so, and she grew up worrying about having enough food or if she would get a new pair of shoes that year. I was a spoiled little prat, and she was just wondering what the hell she foisted onto the world when she made me. Here's Mom at about age 16. It's a black and white photo, but what is not shown is the wondrous deep red of her hair. (Mom says that when God was giving out hair (and ass), someone in our family went through the line twice.) The woman has HAIR. Huge thick curly red HAIR. They called her Simba (the lion) when she was growing up.
Mom met my Dad in the 60's and he brought her over to the US. It was a hard time for her, being an immigrant, but she jumped in and made her life. She was told, for a variety of reasons, she would never be able to have kids, so imagine her surprise when she found out she was pregnant with me...at 5 months along. She had no idea. So from being a woman who would never have kids, she actually ended up having two of the biggest, liveliest, healthiest kids imaginable. (My brother came along 16 months after me.)
The picture below is from when I was about 11 or so. I'm not entirely sure. It's from the days when we all wore prairie style clothes inspired by "Little House on the Prairie" and it's obviously right before I became a snarling teenage arsehole beast, because she and I are smiling at each other. (Well, she's smiling, I am obviously trying to hide the piece of cake I had just shoved in my cakehole.) Poor Mom. What an out-and-out HOTTIE she is, here, I mean, that body? That hair? And here she has this great galumphing still-growing cake-snorting lump of a daughter in glasses, some sort of braid, a prairie skirt and with absurdly large hands to drag around. If anything is going to cramp your style, it would have been me. However, I will say that if this is my genetic heritage, than WHA-HEY! Let's go with it. Let that genetic lottery smack me right upside the head! Happy to accept! DAMN she's hot. Seriously. Hot.
I will say, the similarities in our appearance as I have gotten older are noticeable. I may not have quite the striking hottiness of mom, I mean, she is pretty damned unique in that, but this picture shows that blood will out. I was sent this picture by someone (my sister-in-law?) and didn't really notice how we are dressed the same, same expression, same jewelry style, same large hair, until it was pointed out to me. Then I was like, damn! That's kind of scary!
Below is a picture I took of Mom last November. In that strange quirk of time that happens as women and daughters get older, I think in this picture Mom is my age. I seem to get older but she never does. Hmm. I will say, she is like me in that it is hard to get a good picture of her. Which is why I have very few good shots of either of us. We both have very mobile, expressionistic faces, and it is hard to get a shot where we aren't looking like deers in headlights.
I love this picture of her. I took it with my brand new iTouch that I had just bought that day. We were walking the dogs in the woods, on my parents land in Missouri. Just a test shot, and boom, there it was, my favorite picture of my mom. The way the light catches her hair, her expression which is at once inquisitive, welcoming, interested in what is around her (so her). I get a bit teary-eyed writing this. She's just so fucking awesome and I don't know that I will ever grow into the person that she is. The goofy, funny, gorgeous, strong, no-bullshit, generous, loving, supportive and wonderful person that she is. The woman who can still kick my ass (literally, she is strong, she can KICK MY ASS), but also soothe me with a hand on my forehead and, if we are not in the same country, our Saturday phone call.