Tuesday, May 10, 2011

MOB on Mother's Day

When Sara was four and I wrapped her in a towel from her bath, held her up to the mirror and sang, "Here, she is Miss America," I had no idea of exactly how beautiful of a woman she would become. Not magazine cover beauty but rather the type of woman who is beautiful to the bone.

Mother's Day found me in New York City with my daughter, Sara, celebrating her bachelorette weekend. Most parents will understand that this is a miracle. My daughter and her bridesmaids (Gretchen and Bridget) also invited my sister, Pam, and my sister in law, Debra. A true bonding of generations of strong, smart, independent, loving women gathered to rejoice that one of us has found a wonderful partner, a man suitable and worthy of her amazing attention and affection.

I could provide an itinerary of events, funny moments, remarkable moments. But the moment that will follow me is not her surprise on seeing our matching tee-shirts, or her shock that we were taking a knitting tour, or the subtle blush of viewing Le Scandal burlesque show. The moment was small, minor, easily missed by most.

When I was a young woman, my mother would take my hand and hold it out next to her hand, telling me how beautiful, unlined, and lovely was my skin, my fingers. As I aged, I witnessed my hands slowly become her hands; the raised veins and sunspots, the nails with exact same weaknesses. At first I was appalled to see her aging hands at the ends of my wrists; and then after I lost her, I realized the beauty there and how I would now comfort myself, mother myself, with her hands discovered in my own fingertips.

My daughter, without explaining or speaking, took first my left hand and spread it out and looked at my fingers, my nails and then I held out my right. Foolishly, I wondered if she worried how I would look at her wedding with my unvarnished and uneven nails. I was wrong. She was looking at my hands with love just as I have looked at her unlined, strong hands that constantly create loving meals, beautiful crafts, efficient work. Sara did not see my hands through my own critical veil but rather just as the continuation of capable women's hands in our family.

As a mother, seeing my children successful and happy would have been enough, but to be invited into her world for such a milestone event is something mother's do not even imagine.

This mother's day, I was a very fortunate mother.

Sunday, May 1, 2011


"Silence, according to scientific study, is the most terrifying thing for people." Bob Dylan

I've just finished a poem titled Silence that will appear in The Light Ekphrastic next issue.

Many silent days occur in my life between semesters. It makes the transition back a bit difficult; accustomed to quiet (except for Sally barking at the planes), accustomed to no one expecting anything, not expected anywhere -- returning becomes difficult. But maybe it is good preparation. In the end, all will be silence, quiet, solitary.