Since I can’t be with you this Mother’s Day…
Oh, how I love to tell the story of the night I was born.
How you and Dad were supposed to be catering a huge party the next day, and I decided (you know how I am when I make up my mind) that it was time for me to meet the world. Two weeks early.
How you slid in bed with rolling contractions, and unable to sleep through the pain— This can’t be happening now!—you slid right back out again and padded downstairs to work (and wait) alone.
How you must have cooked feverishly, silently wishing it wasn’t July and that air-conditioning was less fantasy and more reality.
How I imagine you were wiping sweat from your brow and pushing loose strands of brown hair behind your ear, talking to me quietly, begging me to wait just a few more hours.
How I didn’t listen.
How you always include the tiny detail that you were chopping a pepper the moment your water broke.
How you stubbornly kept working—chopping, slicing, stuffing—knowing now this was happening, and you needed to get the food ready for Dad to deliver.
How when you finally caved and got in the passenger seat, there began a nagging worry whispering at the back of your head that you might have to have me in the car.
How you arrived at the hospital, breathless, aching, and maybe a little bit proud you’d waited this long—having reported too soon the first time around—and the doctor had the nerve to yell at you anyway. This time for coming too late.
How the nurse took one peak under your gown and said, “If you have the urge to push…DON’T!”
How wonderfully you gloss over the part where you pushed and panted and pushed some more. How easy you always make it sound, that I came out so quickly…even if that’s not quite the story. But you let me believe it anyway, because you know I want to.
How I was small and jaundiced, but you always tell me I looked like I had a ‘great tan.’
How you may sometimes mourn the marks we left on your belly, but only until you remember—a moment later—what a wonderful life we all have together.
How powerfully you’ve owned that body of yours…even if that came a little later.
How it seems we me made a deal that night, you and I, always to push each other a little further, a little harder, and a little sooner than we may be ready for, knowing that we’ll (almost) always resist.
How you already seemed to know that night that the greatest gift you were ever going to give me, besides life, was cooking.
And how it seems that it will always be as it was that first night…you and me in the kitchen.
My strong, radiant, talented, humble, sassy, determined, naughty, gorgeous mother.
Amy from She Wears Many Hats says
It’s too early for tears. So sweet.
I should have written a post for you too, mom – but Sharon’s was just so fitting. So perfect. It says everything about you as a person and a mother.
But the thing I remember you telling me about my birth (27 years ago next Sunday) is that a woman in the bed next to you was smoking in the maternity ward! Seems so odd now. How could people be allowed to smoke in hospitals? Makes me feel old. I also know that I took a while to make my way into the world, thanks for being patient – as you always have been with me.
We love you, mom. You are not only our mother, but our nearest and dearest friend. We love this blog and our continued culinary adventure together. For all you’ve done, for all you do and for all you’ll do in the future…Thank you.
Happy Mother’s Day!
Andie Reid says
Happy Mother’s Day to a great family!
What a beautiful story- – and the way you’ve written it it has an almost folk-tale quality to it. It would make such a wonderful picture book…
Loved this post, Sharon. Your mom is one amazing woman, and I’m privileged to know her. I was just telling my husband that I’m craving Strawberry Shortcake — not the angel food cake kind but the sweet biscuit kind. I’m going to print this recipe and leave it on the counter — maybe it will magically appear for me this weekend! Thx for the recipe 🙂
Oh Sharon, you made me cry! I would like to add my own thank you. Pam, thank you for taking James and I into your home over the last two years when we couldn’t be with our biological families. For feeding us, for loving us. I don’t know if you will ever know the friendship and relief we felt at having somewhere to ‘go’. We’d do anything for you Andersons, for you are our East Coast family. We love you guys!!
What a sweet story! Thanks for sharing!
dear girls with heart,
I am so glad my girl (my first one) led me to your blog not so very long ago. I am looking forward to a long and happy ‘read’ with you here!
Love this post….Happy Mothers day weekend! and I agree with the one who commented that it would make a delightful book…..You surely have a friend who would do a great job, while you cook up something great for her (or him!)
The Middle One
of my Mothers’ girls
Rose in Ohio (@RoseMillsOhio) says
What a wonderful tribute to your mamma, Sharon!
Wow, Pam….I would just die and go to heaven if I received a letter like that! What a great Mother’s Day gift! But, then, you are one terrific mom!
Watching Maggy and Sharon assemble this post took me back twenty years.
It’s Mother’s Day morning and my amazingly resourceful young daughters won’t let me out of bed because they’re making me breakfast. David’s already at church, but that’s OK because they’re so excited to be pulling this off all by themselves.
They try to be quiet (well maybe they want me to hear a little bit) as they open the china cabinet and pull out the Dessert Rose. And then they proceed to assemble my breakfast, complete with a bud vase of flowers and homemade cards.
They walk in beaming. At first they try to be grown up and just stand there and watch, but then they realize they’re hungry and their bare feet are cold! So they crawl in and we share the feast while I ooh and aah over their cards.
So last week there were secrets–phone calls behind my back, e-mails that didn’t include my address. I knew something was up, but I was not prepared for this post’s unbelievable beauty–Sharon’s rich and thoughtful (book worthy!) piece, Maggy’s gorgeous photo (featured on Tastespotting), and Kevin’s illustration that inspired it all.
Thank you all for one of the best Mother’s Days ever.