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.