>Mom and Me

>When did I become my mom? It happened so gradually and sneakily. All those adolescent years I railed, ranted and rebelled over the steady, calming oversight she unstintingly provided as I grew into my independence, all those moments I totally resented being parented, all came into extreme focus in Buffalo at CGOA Chain Link. Because I spent one whole day mothering my mother.

She has only functional abilities in English, only the merest glimmer of the many things I have written about her and no idea at all of the resulting notoriety she owns among my friends and fans. There had never before been an opportunity for me to introduce Mom to my crochet world. She is even less happy with traveling than I am, and can hardly be coaxed out of her comfy home except for the weekly line dancing classes with her senior groups. And the ritual bus trips to Atlantic City to commune with her favorite penny slots.

Finally, earlier this month at the event of events for the crochet community, I brought along my mom. We road tripped the 9 hour drive together, with me driving and Mom dispensing coffee, snacks and running commentary. She stayed at my brother’s home not far from downtown Buffalo, and mercifully not with me at the venue hotel. Relationships between mothers and daughters aren’t always easy. I envy those women who can honestly say that they could spend time in close quarters with their moms and not go stark mad. I expected the worst. What I got was a revelation. Illumination.

You know how parents are advised to really listen to their kids. Well, for the first time in many years I had an opportunity to truly listen to my mom. I didn’t make her hang with me the entire week of the conference since I anticipated I’d be running around taking care of the business of eventing. I set up a schedule for her one day visit to the convention center. I tried to anticipate her needs, play on her interests, make her feel comfortable among so many ardent and loud strangers. I went so far as to draft my friends as watchdogs to show her around while I was busy and couldn’t just play, for fear that she might wander off alone and feel lost. In other words, I was mothering her. I needn’t have worried.

Here we are minutes after her arrival downtown. She chatted easily with Tammy (“Sammy”) Hildebrand on her right and with Vashti Braha on her left at the Coffee Spot where we gathered on Friday morning.


These two photos courtesy of Vashti.

She charmed all my friends being her adorable self, without my shepherding, without my running interference, without translation. She shopped the market on her own, purchasing a gaggle of beaded bracelets that will surely wow the crowd at line dance class. She examined every entry in the 2009 CGOA Design Contest and voted for her Peoples’ Choice. She voted twice, actually. Her sentimental choice was, now that I can report her transgression without repercussions, the pretty pink freeform vest designed by her new friend (and my best conference mate) Diane Moyer.

Hokey Smokes! That is so ME… voting two times, that’s something I would have done had I not been one of the official judges! She sat in with me for the last hour of Dee Stanziano’s PushmiPullyu class, and although I doubt she understood what was being taught, still she made friends with class members. She attended the CGOA membership meeting that evening and circulated with me during Drew “Mr. Hospitality” Emborsky’s New Member welcoming party after the general meeting. She even got to chatter in Japanese with my new friends Kang and Kazue, the reps from Tulip Co.

Kang, Mom and Me at dinner Friday night, photo by Kazue
During the long road trip home (isn’t it strange how the trip home always seems so much longer than the trip there?) I not only listened to Mom, I also really looked at her and for the first time in many years, I saw her. She is me. I am she. OK, I actually have more gray hair than Mom does. And she is majorly partial to bling, whereas I am not. But you can see what I mean, huh?

10 thoughts on “>Mom and Me

  1. >What a beautiful post Doris! I really enjoyed reading it and would have loved to have met your mother. What a good daughter you are to be concerned about her happiness and comfort.

  2. >That sounds like a wonderful & enlightening trip. I will often say something… The realize what I said…and say… " I sound Like My Mother " 🙂 But that is a good thing. … It's just odd sometimes how you can inherit the same traits as your Mother. * The same traits you hated when you were growing up. at least that is how was for me. *~ Susan

  3. >Dear Doris — What a great time you had! I wish I had met your mom; meeting her would have been worth the trip all by itself. We are NOT our mothers, but they are funny and interesting mirrors of ourselves. And vice versa! Thanks for sharing this story! — Teresa (Skeinfest)

  4. >My mother and I are often referred to as "the twins" I am so much like my mother in so many ways – we are very similar looking – but I am so different as well. My mother has no desire what so ever to pick up a hook, and I, for one, would be lost without one. I loved meeting your mother and watching you two interact at the coffee shop!

  5. >I sure wish I could have met your mom. I have been right where you were and when I give it the chance, I am always pleasantly surprised by these kinds of experiences with my mom.Thanks for sharing!

  6. >I loved your post about your mum, it made me think about my mum, and that while we have expectations in their reactions or needs, they can surprise us and take care of themselves, not need constant hand holding and supervision, but can completely enjoy a new and alien experience. I hope that when I get older than I can still appreciate new experience too.CheersChantelle.

  7. >I'm reading this blog post late, but as a fan of yours (your designs, your wonderful sense of humor and excellent ability to write well!)I have to say I loved "meeting your mom" and as a daughter whose time with her mom is over, I appreciated what I learned from your post…Marilyn Marecrochets on ebay, etsy, and probably ravelry too (i forget;_))

  8. Hi Doris!
    I don’t know why this post popped up on my side bar, because it’s old, but I very much enjoyed it.

    Sadly, my mother passed away when I was 14, her funeral was on my 15th birthday. I never got to know if I was or am like her or not. I do think about that often and hate that I got cheated out of it. I also have many regrets that I didn’t get to ‘know’ my mother before she passed. I had no idea whatsoever that she would not be in this world for long and that she would leave us. She left behind 6 children, 4 who were younger than me at the time.

    But getting to read about you and your mom, although making me sad for myself, gave me a glimpse into how it may have been for myself if she had lived. I like to think that our relationship would have been a very good one.
    I dreamed about her the other night, a quite lengthy dream. I rarely dream about my mother and when I do it’s short little dreams. Maybe she’s thinking of me or she’s close to me right now. I don’t know, but I thank you again for this post.

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