13 May 2007

Letter to my Mom

Dear Mom,

It's Mother's Day, and every year I say it's a bunch of commercial crap that the corporatocracy has manipulated from the peace-loving observance it once was into a stomach-churning orgy of flowers, jewelry, and tacky cards. But then people start to talk about their mothers, without all the consumer driven hype, and I always get a little sentimental.

Historically, I've been with you on Mother's Day every year, but I've missed the past two because of moving away to an earthly hell. I'm sad when I see daughters out with their mothers today, knowing that my dipshit brothers, if they didn't forget completely, probably instructed their wives to pick out a card or send flowers, and will then show up at your house tonight wanting dinner. I'm sad because you aren't appreciated the way you should be: as a strong, frightfully intelligent, creative, compassionate human being.

I always try to reason with you, that you're letting people take advantage of you, that you're letting people walk all over you, and that you need to look after yourself more. Because these are things that I refuse to allow for myself. That is the biggest lesson I've learned from you, how not to let those those things happen to me. I know you have some dreams, somewhere in your head, snuggled closely between memories of your children, for a long life's nap. I know you are too bright to have denied yourself dreams altogether, but probably thought that life wouldn't sneak up on you.

You are more than a mother. I wish Dad and the brothers could see that. I wish you could gather the courage to throw off the shackles that they've bound you in when you were too busy caring for them to notice. I wish you would one day decide that you were going to live a life for yourself.

I have a fantasy that one day, you'll call me and tell me that it's time to escape. That you've always known you needed to escape, you just had to find the right time. Then you join up with me and we raise holy hell. Whatever your dreams are (folk art? music? teaching? lounging by a pool drinking wine with a dog?) I would support you and encourage you. It would be scary as hell for you, but I would remind you that life is scary and that is what makes it worthy.

I have visions of who you used to be, before you were a wife and mother. I have a feeling you had a bit of a hell-raising streak, an independence that has since vanished. I hope it reemerges before you are gone, and I hope you can finally understand my fierce independence.

I love you, Mom, but I don't think I'll send this letter to you. I don't think you are ready. One thing I've learned from you is that you have to let people realize what they need on their own. I'm just waiting for you to realize. I love you and respect you more than Dad and the brothers do, because I know you are more than a wife and mother. You are a human being, and you are beautiful. You are my best friend.

I love you.

Quite Contrary