I've just returned from a quick trip to Facebook, so how can I ignore the fact that it is Mother's Day? I am posting this photo because it seems to be a fairly accurate representation of the relationship I have to my mother and my family, in general. I am the pipsqueak in the lower left, holding her nose and desperately trying to flee . . . it taking two strong adult arms to keep me in position. My mom looks pretty happy. This is "sheepish grin" for my father (looking a little bit like Iggy Pop I'm thinkin'), trying to maintain a sense of humor about his errant daughter. My Aunt Bertie holds Bobby. I know it's Bobby because she really didn't have any hair to speak of until she was well into her threes. The lack of tresses made everybody think she was a boy, so my mother compensated by putting her in dresses as much as possible. You can't get dirty in a dress, you know. But in my mother's logic, it was more important to let people know you were a girl than it was to have kid fun and get dirty.
Rice of Voodoo Cafe posted some interesting and comforting thoughts about her (and other's) mother. I had my mother figured out within a few months and I determined early on that I was going to have to do everything I could, muster all my energy, to keep her from making me completely crazy. As you can tell, I had limited success, and whatever success I've had came mostly because I was eventually able to escape (at least geographically). Each of my siblings has a completely different recollection of our family life; we do not seem to have any common memories. Honestly, I think my mother and father finally found happiness when the children were all grown and gone.
[P.S. I'm really lovin' those little sandals I'm wearing. But, note the bow in the 'do. Ish!]