Tuesday, March 20, 2007

A Tribute to my Mother ... (and Now I have that Danzig Song in my Head)

I have been tagged for a meme by Slouching Mom. The subject? Real moms, and all things about them. As I am not yet one, I shall write about my own dear mother. So without further ado, let the Mommery commence!

Real moms aren’t afraid to catch their child’s vomit in cupped palms, even if it’s regurgitated Hamburger Helper.

Real moms aren’t that surprised to see decorative Jackson Pollack-like artwork comprised entirely of poop on their child’s bedroom walls.*

Real moms go without new outfits for years, even wearing their own daughter’s hand-me-ups after they’ve gone out of style.

Real moms wear t-shirts that say, “When it comes to guilt trips, I’m a frequent flyer.” With no irony whatsoever.

Real moms tell you wistfully that they’ll probably be too old and crippled to play with their grandchildren before you get around to producing one.**

Real moms rush to your aide when you sprain your ankle, driving 45 minutes to bring you crutches, an ice pack, and concern. When they arrive, they berate themselves for forgetting to also bring soup and Ben-Gay.

Real moms obsess over the fact that you probably turned out this way because they neglected some minor developmental issue years and years and years ago.

Real moms sing lullabyes you remember forever.

Real moms have purses that could transport a pallet of landscape pavers. Inside, there will be dusty wads of tissues (some crusty at one end but deemed still usable on the other), four different kinds of lip balms, sensible breath-freshening gum, a ring of keys that could crush a small mammal, an envelope of coupons (many of which expired before 1989), a vinyl-clad checkbook, a tire gauge, a flashlight, a vat of Vaseline intensive care hand cream, a lint roller, a wad of insurance documents, a small medicine chest, a first-aid kit, a microscopic sewing kit, hand sanitizer, and the ugliest photo of you ever taken.

Real moms cook the best meals, paint the best crafts, sew the best quilts, and grow the best gardens. They never think their handiwork is the best, though.

Real moms are not afraid of mucous, but they are terrified that you will be attacked by terrorists if you move to Chicago.

Real moms fall asleep during movies, even ones they see in the theater, because they work too hard all week long.

Real moms aren’t afraid to break it down on the dance floor when the wedding DJ plays Nelly. And they don’t mind much when you laugh.

Real moms (and dads) tell you when you’re an insolent teen that if there is any justice in the world, you will have twin daughters someday, and they will be exactly like you.

So there you have it. Love ya mom!

*Please note that I was not the poop-smearing child. But I was the Hamburger Helper expeller.

**I should point out that this is a sentiment not actually spoken aloud by my mother, but implied. It is also a sentiment shared strongly by other parental figures in my life.


  1. Aww... You more than rose to the challenge. You're going to be an awesome real mom one day.

    And have you been visiting my mom? Because honestly? This...

    Real moms obsess over the fact that you probably turned out this way because they neglected some minor developmental issue years and years and years ago.

    ...has been the topic of conversation between me and my mom more times than I can count. Such conversations usually begin with a criticism of me or my brother. "You're so (fill in the blank, but let's try 'stubborn'). I wonder what I did or didn't do to make you that way."

  2. Great list! My "Mom" list would include:

    *Scrapes boogers off her little son's wall without flinching.

    *Renames select earth tone colors into various shades of poo for her child's amusement.

  3. I just realized my #2 should have an example.

    Dooky Brown. Baby-poo Green.

  4. Anonymous7:08 PM

    Beautiful, Jess--even the Hamburger Helper part. I don't have a lot of experience with kid vomit at this point. I guess the fun is yet to come.

    I can't wait to read what you'll write when you're a mother.

  5. Anonymous7:56 PM

    I have this vivid memory of being young and throwing up at my grandmother's house. My mom tucked me back into bed and was on her hands and knees in her jammies, in the middle of the night, scraping my vomit out of the plush rug. I remember the clear thought "this is what it means to be the mommy."

  6. That was lovely. Except for the cooking and the gardening I think we shared the same mother. Especially the puke catching and the crazy dancing with no shame.

    I think you made your mom proud with this post.

  7. Anonymous9:19 PM

    Oh man. Stop making me laugh and cry at the same time.

    You will be a fabulous mom, when and if the time comes. No pressure.

  8. Anonymous10:38 PM

    how did you know these exact objects were in my purse?

  9. I'm sure glad I haven't been tagged for this one, because there's no way I could compete with what you've written here. This is classic. Great job Jess.

  10. I would not be a good mom because there is no way I'd attempt to catch Hamburger Helper projectile vomit with my bare hands. no way, no how!!

  11. A most excellent tribute, Jess.

    You captured the essence of real "mommery" in this post.

    Loved it.

  12. Awww!
    So sweet-right down to the projectile vomit and Ben Gay.

  13. Great list, Jess. All of it is 100% true. Mothers are the strongest people on earth. Thanks for sharing and the laughter that goes with it :o)

  14. Having been a mom for 16.6 years now, this makes me wonder what my kids will say is true about me...

    I mean, I've never had to catch any vomit! There's no hand sanitizer in my purse (though I did have a tire gauge until like a week ago). I don't sew.

    Clearly a failure.

  15. real moms often do only what needs to be done to get to bedtime.

    I'm just sayin. :>

    Sometimes that take all the patience and strength this world has to offer!

  16. Anonymous7:10 AM

    I love this.

  17. Such a great list! And they're ALL true! LOL.

  18. Aw, how sweet.

    I saw a mom catch vomit once. It was Ew!

  19. I loved that. I caught vomit in my ear once...I would have preferred to use my hands, but they were busy holding the baby. Ah, good times.

    I did this one, too. :)

  20. This is maybe one of the best iterations of this meme I've seen yet. Sometimes you need the objectivity of not being a mom to really get it, perhaps. Awesome.