Monday, May 7, 2012

Gracias Madre

My mom...the total babe.

I look down at my hands and I see her hands.
Long fingers with big knuckles and red nails.
Before they were her hands,
they were my Grandma's hands
and now they are mine.

We are the red lip/nails crew.  My dad and Gregory are not members.

They are strong hands.

For raising babies and cleaning houses.
For holding on and fighting back.
For doing the "Sign of the Cross"
before 1st days of school,
important job interviews,
and saying goodbye.

Sometimes I let the boys sneak from their bunks
and take refuge in my bed.
I wrap myself around them like a capital "C",
bring them into my nook
and take in their smallness.

Every single time I do that,
I remember what it was like to be the little "C".
To sneak from my bed into hers,
to be wrapped in her,
to take in the smell of her Crest toothpaste.

We're wearing matching pants.

She is the kind of woman
who picks up the pieces when
her 26 year old husband dies.

The one who works 2 jobs
so her little girl can have everything
and a private school education to boot.

When she remarried and had my brother,
we hardly missed a beat,
like my dad and brother
had been waiting in the wings all along.

The Cesena's were written in the stars,
it just took awhile to get there.

She's super pregnant here. And still a babe.

Always my friend
but first my mom,
she is the one who took me to the Clinique counter
for my first make-up lesson
and tried to school me on birth control.
(Sorry mom!)

She grounded me for
a zillion years
and I broke her heart
a thousand times.

Mother/daughter relationships are hard.
For so long I wanted her to leave me to my mistakes
but to pick up the pieces when I was hurting.
It was an awkward dance and it lasted
 a very long time.

But we never stopped talking.
Even when it was through clenched teeth.
We no longer speak rough words
through tight mouths.

Thank you for never giving up on me Mom.

Even when I was heinous
 and selfish
and the bad decisions
just kept on comin'.

Thank you
for teaching me how to be a lioness.

For making birthdays and holidays
 a big deal.

I believe loving Halloween is genetic.

For being a fantastic
team mom,
room mom,
(your favorite title)

She started smiling like this the day Lucas was born and hasn't stopped since.

 Thank you for making our house a home
and for loving me in spite of myself.

I still want to be like you when I grow up.

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