My mom was 28 when she had me. Her husband was dark brown, Mexican American, but I don’t think she ever truly imagined that her first child, her daughter, would come out so dark. And I did, especially compared to my mom.
With blonde hair, blue eyes and a thin, athletic frame, my mom and I couldn’t look any more different upon first glance. It isn’t until you look closer that you notice that we have the same nose, teeth, neck, and forehead. However, I grew up for many years not looking anything remotely like her but that didn’t matter to me because I didn’t really notice.
A few others did. I was told once that a playmate that I made at the softball complex once argued with me when I showed her my mom. The little girl told me that my mom couldn’t be my mom because she was white. I had forgotten the entire exchange until my mom told me twelve years or so later.
One evening my mom and I are going through some old drawings of mine and I noticed that I had drawn my mother white and had drawn myself brown. I was fascinated by the thought that her skin color and my skin color or her different hair color had never bothered me when I was growing up.
It wasn’t until I was in college that it sometimes bothered me. I didn’t like that people didn’t believe me when I introduced my mother or said that my mother had blonde hair and blue eyes. I didn’t like that people assumed I was adopted.
Once my cousin posted a photo of my mom and her on Facebook and someone assumed that my mom was her mom! Granted my mom and my cousin’s mom are twins but what bothered me was that no one, except friends and family who knew who my mom, would have made that comment if I had put up a picture of us.
Eventually I got over it. I couldn’t change people’s perception of the world even though in 2010 there were 5.4 million interracial or interethnic households in the U.S. and, surprise, those household usually contain children. I can’t let it bother me because no matter how progressive I think the world is becoming it still seems that some people just won’t believe me when I show them my mom.
Although our looks differ greatly, there are so many things that I loved about having my mom as my mother and I assume, or hope, that every kid around this time thinks about this.
I went through a phase of watching home movies last year and I loved what I saw. My mom and I cleaning the house together, her with grown-up cleaning tools and me with a mini-plastic broom. I even loved hearing how she said my name in the videos. I don’t know why. I just do. It’s probably got something to do with her accent.
When I was little she used to lay on her back and put her feet up. I’d put my chest on her feet and she’d lift me in the air. I think we called it airplane. She’d do it as many times as I asked.
My mom worked hard for us and she didn’t get many days off, but when she did, she spent it with me and my brother. She’d bring us lunch and sit with us while we ate. Everyone loved to say “Hi” to my mom. Not many mothers did that with children when I was growing up. And then sometimes, I’d come home on her day off and sitting on my bed was a shirt or a toy, something she just happened to pick up for me and that made me feel good because I love surprises and it showed how much my mom loved me.
She was the mom who showed up to my games on her lunch break, in her Postal blue carrier uniform and her foam visor that she can’t ever be without. Looking back, it was amazing that she was able to come to my games even when she was at work.
Every night I begged my mom for tickle bugs. My mom had long strong nails and I loved how they felt when she scratched my back, hence the name “tickle bugs.” I’d always fall asleep quicker when she did that. Even now, I beg for them and she suffers my 25-year-old weight when I flop onto her legs so she can scratch my back.
Sundays came and I could always expect my favorite breakfast of biscuits and homemade gravy. She always made my favorite meals when I returned home from college breaks and I loved her for that.
She even put in a lot of effort to help me complete a birthday bucket list that I did a few years ago. She set up an entire horseback riding adventure through some friends at work on my birthday and wouldn’t let me jump into a 20-degree pool alone, but jumped in with me for three seconds too.
When I was younger I didn’t think I was anything like my mom. We didn’t look alike and I was convinced that we had nothing in common when it came to personality but it seems with age comes wisdom and I see that I am much more like her than I ever realized.
And then suddenly, around the time I turned 21, my mom picked up one of my great passions: reading! It was so fun to introduce her to books like The Five People You Meet In Heaven, The Kite Runner, and other books that I’ve loved for years. Now she reads more than I do!
My mom loves to be active and is always down to experience something new. Lately, I’ve realized that I have a lot of the restlessness and drive to experience life, something that I am sure came from her.
She also has this rare gift of not being bothered by what people say or think and in many ways I’m very similar. And if something does bother her, she moves on from it quickly, a trait that I am very glad I picked up from her.
We both love to dance and it’s always a dance party in the kitchen when I’m at home. (The “Lorna” Dance). She has an energy and a force of life that has not dimmed over the years, something that I admire and hope that I will also have.
My mom’s not perfect. She didn’t always make decisions that I agree with. She doesn’t always do or say things that I like. And she doesn’t always see things how I see them but that is what makes her special and I’m glad that I can see my mom for who she is and accept her with absolute love in my heart.
We don’t look alike but she’s my mom and I’m so thankful to have her as such which is why I hate not being able to be there for Mother’s Day, a wrong that I hope to right next year.
But even so, I know she loves me and I hope she knows how much I love her…I mean, I did just write this awesome blog bragging about her. 😉
Love you, Mama.