Mama Ginger Tree doesn't live here anymore.  I have moved to The Norwindians.  The names have changed, but we're the same family.  Please add The Norwindians to your reader!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Blog Regret

I am feeling remorseful about this post.  It sort of feels like I've been talking about my mom behind her back.  I honestly started the post as way to make fun of myself for having a toothbrush collecting problem, but clearly it morphed into something completely different.   I don't want my mother to be defined here by the fact that she is compulsive hoarder.  

She is also an amazing grandmother and a woman who has led a rich life.   It can't have been easy to be an Air Force nurse in the early sixties, but she talks fondly of her time in the military and I know she had some amazing experiences.  She was not a woman who went from her father's house straight to her husband's.  She had a career and a whole life of her own before meeting my father, getting married and starting a family.   She had her own apartment in North Beach in San Francisco.  She hung out with poets and volunteered at Planned Parenthood.

My mother rarely talks about her life before kids or why she packed up and left Minnesota after she graduated from nursing school.  I know there is so much more to her than  I know about.   I want to know more of that woman and I want my daughters and my son to know more about that woman.   Why she is reluctant to talk about it is a mystery to me.

One of reasons I started this blog is to have a written record of my thoughts for my children to read someday.  I don't want there to be any unknowns for them about who I am or how I feel about being their mother.  I also want them to know that there is more to me than motherhood.   I want them to feel comfortable talking to me about anything, even when they are adults.  To have that kind of relationship with anyone, there can't be any secrets or holding back.

Mr. Mint and I lived with my mom toward the end of my pregnancy with Lolly and Frostine and for the first four months after they were born while our house was being remodeled.  They were both colicky and I had a really hard time those first few months.  I was on the edge of totally losing it.  My mom once remarked, "I don't remember you guys crying this much as babies."  That is not what I needed to hear.  The comment made me feel like a failure since I could not get my babies to stop crying.   It was the beginning of a chasm between us that sadly has grown over the years as my screaming babies have grown into little girls.

I will probably be writing a lot about my mother in the coming weeks, months, hopefully years.  She turned 74 this year and while she still looks like she's in her sixties, she is diabetic and had a triple bypass a few years ago.  Her memory and sharp wit has been declining and lately seems to be getting much, much worse.  I fear we are headed to a place my sister and I have dreaded for a long time.   

She drives me bananas sometimes and it helps for me to write about it and work through some of our issues here.  I just need to state that aside from our differences and inability to "get" each other lately, I have great respect for my mom.   She adores her grandchildren and I am so glad my issues with my mom have not filtered down to my kids.  They love her to pieces.  

There is so much more to say and so much more blog material here.  But for now I just needed to let you all know that just as there is more to me than motherhood, there is more to my mom than compulsive hoarding.  


heartatpreschool said...

Awesome Sis!

Maybe it's because I'm your sister, but I can hear your love for Mom in every post you write (and every conversation we have) about her. It's honest and naked AND emminates your stong feeling for her.

heartatpreschool said...


no spell check on comments...

Kate Coveny Hood said...

I for one didn't need any clarification. Anyone who writes about family members knows that there is always more to a person than an anecdote can deliver.

This was lovely though - and I enjoyed reading it.

Michelle franchetti said...

I loved this entry. you keep making me cry girl! I think it is hard to see what other see in us, our families, etc. I think it is beautiful and brave that you even think about this stuff, some don't

PsychMamma said...

For the record, I never felt like you were "defining" your mom by describing something that she (and the rest of your family) struggles with. I heard the concern, heartache and frustration in your words that wouldn't be there if you didn't care. Nothing you said came across as mean-spirited or spiteful.

I also loved this post and can again hear the love and pride shining through.

Thanks for sharing!

Andrea's Sweet Life said...

Of course there's more to your mom! Even the things you wrote about her in the original post painted a picture of a woman who had lived quite a life.

I think there's more to all of us than what we see, even as we get to delve into people's minds by way of their blog posts.

I hope writing about your mom here will help you gain some understanding of her, and give you some ooomph to ask her the questions you've been wanting to ask about her past.

Marinka said...

This is a beautiful post. I, too, can hear your love for your mother in it as well as the struggle that we all feel when our relationship has challenges.

I also think your reasons for blogging are so fantastic and admirable.

Thank you for sharing your family with us.

EatPlayLove said...

Sometimes truth is hard to write and sharing your process makes it even more real.

Mama Ginger Tree said...

Thank you all for your comments (on BOTH my "mom" posts). I have a ton of emotion here and it feels good to write about it and even better to get your feedback.

anymommy said...

I'll join the brilliant comments already posted and say that I didn't think any thing like that about your previous post. Your love for your mother and respect for her came through beautifully, despite your sadness over her struggles with hoarding. It comes through even more beautifully in this post. Thank you for sharing about her.

Anonymous said...

I second (or, I guess "eleventh") the other comments. Your first post resonated so strongly because it was clear that you had love and respect for your mother, and were troubled by her recent circumstances. I don't think there's a more complicated relationship around than mothers and daughters. We all understand. But this was also a beautiful post!

Maura said...

Anymommy already left pretty much exactly the comment I would make, so I have to be lame and just kind of say "ditto."

We have something in common with respect to mom issues -- I look forward to talking about them with you more.

Paige Parsons said...

I feel the love in your posts, too. It's very comforting and reassuring to hear of your struggles and her struggles because they resonate so deeply for me. Keep up the great work!