Is anything ever just about one's parents? I could tell stories about my grandparents that would tell you more about my mother than anything I ever wrote about her. I'll take the bait though, and we'll see what I come up with.
I think no relationship is so complex, contradictory or bizarre as a girl's relationship to her mom.
Mom has brown hair, curly and short, and she suffers from terminal self-loathing. No matter where she is or how she's doing, she knows she could improve something. She could exercise more. Make the house prettier. Cook better. Look better. Be better. I think sometimes that keeps her from being just as awesome as she already is. At the same time, I understand through my own experience that it's the same drive that allows her to be brutally honest with herself, to take responsibility for her failings, and to be deeply connected to the people she loves.
Mom has brown eyes, I think. But now that I try to conjure her image in my mind, I can't see her eyes. Maybe they're kind of green? I know that they're striking and clear. She's dark-complected, almost olive-skinned, and I always envied her easy, crispy tans. I go from milk-white to lobster in half the time she turns native brown.
Mama loves me. She taught me to sew, to crochet, and to write. I remember picking vegetables with her as a very little girl. Okra, purple-hull peas, corn and butterbeans. We picked them every year. She taught me not to fear the fat, happy caterpillars we found hiding in the corn husks. She canned spaghetti sauce, cut-off, creamed and froze corn, and for some unholy reason cooked a lot of summer squash. To this day, the smell of summer squash turns my stomach. No amount of butter can render it edible. That stuff is nasty. Word to my mother: NAS. TEE.
I remember baking bread with her. Drinking buttermilk for the first time at her urging. Learning to make perfect southern biscuits (the secret is lard and buttermilk). Once I spilled hot coffee down my 9-year-old chest. I remember the skin peeling up. Mama raced me to Mrs. Janice's house. I don't remember how we treated it, just that Mama let me cry and held me.
I hate this entry. It's boring ME.