Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The woman behind the blogger

Last night after class a co-worker asked if I wanted to go with her to a drop-in Rally-O class at another training center. I was all for it - since I've been slacking in actually working with my own dogs - until she mentioned that it was on Sunday evening. I declined as it is Mother's Day on Sunday. That was when it hit me.

It's Mother's Day on Sunday.

It's almost Mother's Day already?

Wow, that snuck up on me. Yeah, I've seen all the commercials and read a lot of blog posts about Mother's Day - I even wrote a Mother's Day post of my own for the Blog Exchange - but the actual day always seemed to be coming up. A way's away. Soon, but not now. Well now is almost here.

(There's a hint for you, Mr. C., you've still got a couple of days left until the big day. Don't blow it. You remember last year, don't you?)

I've decided that in honor of Mother's Day, the day we celebrate those women who bravely pushed a living being out of their girly parts and those who spent much time and effort adopting a child, here at Chicky Chicky Baby the rest of this week is all about Moms.

(Which is much better than me talking about my phlegm, don't you think? I will refrain from writing about the loogies I can hock up at whim, their consistency and color. You're welcome.)

I was recently tagged for a "10 things about me" meme by the suspiciously happy Smiling Mom (Seriously, lady, why are you always smiling? What's the secret?) and rather than talk about myself again I'm going to tell you 10 things that I think you should know about my mom.

Why should you care about my mom? First off, if you have to ask that than you can just go now. Seriously. How rude. But second, she was a woman that people just wanted to know and since she's not here with us this is my way of introducing you to the woman who I called Mom.

10 things about Grammy Chicky

1. I'm ashamed to say (ooh, there's a good place to start) that I didn't always call her "Mom". During my teen years, when my Mom and I hated each other, my best friend and I came up with a nickname for my mother. The rather cumbersome moniker "Creature with the Fangs".

We were so witty.

The name was eventually shortened to just "Fang". My friend and I thought ourselves not only terribly witty but also horribly clever for keeping this from her. Of course, my Mom (Fang) knew but she never said anything. Until years later when I was in my 20s, and we were on speaking terms again, and she let it slip that she knew. And she smirked when she said that she knew. It must of hurt a bit, hearing her first born call her names, yet she still found the stupid humor in a couple of 15 year olds trying to pull a fast one over on her and failing miserably. I can respect a woman who can laugh at her child being a dumbass.

2. She loved to dance. The woman was a dancing fiend. She wasn't particularly good at it but she was infectious. If she was dancing then you wanted to dance with her. Unless you were a sullen 15 year old, calling her stupid nicknames, and embarrassed by her exuberance.

At one of my uncles' weddings my mother was on the dance floor surrounded by people all of them doing the Twist. She was so busy giving that dance her all that she didn't notice that she had Twisted herself right out of her slip. When she did notice she just stepped out of it, kicked it to the side and kept on dancing with all of her family cheering her on. She didn't have time to be embarrassed, there was dancing to be done. It's been almost 20 years and that story still gets brought up at family get-togethers.

3. Mom had just turned 20 when she had me. She was just about to turn 24 when she had my sister. When I asked her why she had us so young Mom told me that the only thing she had ever wanted to be growing up was a mother so as soon as she could she started a family, and that simple fact used to bug the hell out of me. A mother? Just a mother? No other, greater, aspirations? A year or two before she died, after spending almost two decades working as a secretary for a Catholic elementary school, she told us that now that her children were grown she really wished she could have been a teacher. I think she would have been a great teacher, but at the risk of sounding cheesy and selfish, there's a part of me that's glad we didn't have to share her.

4. She was obsessive, almost anal, about keeping a clean house and she was not an animal lover. In this way I am my father's daughter.

5. Mom wasn't the type of person who was quick with a dirty joke, though I suspect she secretly liked them as much as the next guy, but she had a streak of gallows humor in her. She always said when she died she wanted to be buried upside down. So every who came to visit her grave could kiss her ass.

6. "Sun worshiper" isn't a strong enough term to attribute to my Mom. As soon as the weather got warm enough you would find Mom floating on a raft in the pool or lying in a deck chair soaking up the sun. By the end of the summer, thanks to her Portuguese heritage, she'd be as brown as a nut. Also in this way I am my father's daughter. Damn English genes.

7. Mom had a gap between her front teeth that was never fixed. Since she was one of eleven children there wasn't the money for dental work and she was sometimes ashamed of it. Not that it took away from her beauty. But, consequently, she didn't smile that much in pictures. But when she smiled, either in real life or in front of the camera, you felt like she had just given you a gift.

And if you feel like I'm falling into a pit of cheese let me just tell you that when she wasn't smiling she sometimes looked like she was about to bite your head off. In this way I am my mother's daughter.

8. After a long, unsatisfying marriage that ended badly (and that's all I'm going to say about my parent's relationship) my mother - a huge Red Sox fan - finally met her soul mate, a wonderful man who just happened to be a Yankees fan. Ain't that a kick in the head? At her funeral he gave the most beautiful speech and in this speech he mentioned how that year - 2004 - should be the year that the Red Sox would finally win the World Series. And I think he was genuinely pleased when they did. Now that's love.

9. Whenever he wrote her a note or gave her a card, my Mom's boyfriend would end it with the words "Here, There and Everywhere". I can't listen to that song without crying.

10. She wasn't the best mother, she wasn't the worst mother. She messed up a lot and I didn't make things easy on her. But she would have been the best grandmother ever.

It's sort of hard to wrap up a meme like this one gracefully so I'm just going to move on to the tags. I'm tagging Redneck Mommy, Sarah, and Lawyer Mama.


Jen said...

Wow, what a neat post. And Fang? Ouch! I love that she never let on that she knew. I don't think I could do that. I would probably start wearing vampire teeth at breakfast.

Sarahviz said...

What a beautiful tribute to your mom. She's smiling.

Jacquie said...

That was beautiful. Loved #2 but #5 seriously LMAO!!

Julie Pippert said...

Fantastic list. I wish I had known your mom---and I do feel a little bit like I do from all you wrote.

A Yankees fan wishing the Red Sox would win? Oh that is true love.

I had never been a Beatles fan, but Patience has from birth. She has made me into one, with her love of them. So that song? Moving.

P.S. HOLY CRAP I am SO not ready for mother's day. I've been out of town and need to focus on catching up the house. I want it in the fall. Can we move it?

P.P.S. I like---geez was it Mare WInningham?---Mare Winningham's idea: celebrate herself at each child's birthday. "After all, I gave birth on that day!" LOL

Anonymous said...

Once again, ya got me bawlin'...

This was wonderful Chicky!

Avalon said...

A very moving post because it portrayed her as a true woman.....flaws and all. I am sure she would have been the best Grandmother ever, aside from my Mom.

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah--that slip story is a winnah!

Amie Adams said...

Wow! What a terrific and honest tribute. I'm sure she would be honored and proud.

Girlplustwo said...

lovely, chick. and the grace of a goddess to hook up w/ a yankee fan. the grace.

Anonymous said...

If I didn't know you loved me so, I'd think you had it out for me, darling.

I think Fang and I would have gotten along very well. She sounds like a winner. I'm happy that you have such great feelings of love for her.

I'll do your damn game of tag, only because I need to remind myself that my mother is not the beast I like to make her out to be, and that I truly do love her.

(It's good to remember that every now and then.)

Look for it on Friday, because tomorrow is reserved for romance. And cheesy sex talk.

Happy Mother's day, darling. I hope Mr. C does better by you this year.

Cate said...

I'm always moved by your ability to write about your mother. I especially loved this:

She wasn't the best mother, she wasn't the worst mother. She messed up a lot and I didn't make things easy on her. But she would have been the best grandmother ever.

It's so easy to romanticize people who aren't here, but you didn't. Thanks.

Happy Mother's Day.

flutter said...

She sounds so cool, so do you.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your mother with us! This is a very inspiring post. :)

mamatulip said...

Thank you for sharing your mom with us. I loved reading about her.

Pendullum said...

A wonderful tribute to be said that should be said to the heavens, and I know your mother would smile down through the clouds, wishing she was there to be the best grammy ever..

Mama en Fuego said...

You mom sounds like she was an amazing person. I am so glad you shared that with us. As mothers we can only hope that one day our children will look back on our lives and be proud of us.

Unknown said...

It sounds like your mom and my mom could have been pals! I too had a nickname for mine and she totally knew about it. "MM" it stood for Meany Mommy and it fit her then.

And she did her best too, although she was not perfect either, nor was I.

I loved reading about your mom and I'm sure she would be proud of you!

Lisa said...

That was a wonderful idea.

And that last part made me all tear-y eyed.

Hope you feel better soon! WIth the loogy-ing and all.

Mom101 said...

You've got some novel in here, woman. Both in content and in style.

Cara said...

That was a great post. I welled up with tears with that last line. I am fortunate that my Mom is still here and an awesome grandmother.

Fairly Odd Mother said...

My mom was "VOD" or "Voice of Doom".

I'm so sorry your mom isn't here to see your little girl grow up.

Beautiful post and tribute to her.

Major Bedhead said...

That was a great post, Mrs. Chicky. Thanks for sharing your mum with us.

Marrying a Yankees fan, though. Wow. That must have been love.

Julie Marsh said...

I love how you did this meme. Thanks for sharing more about your mom (and for reminding me that I was tagged too and haven't yet fulfilled my duty!).

The Domesticator said...

She sounds like a cool lady, Mrs. C. Thanks for sharing the memories with us. I loved the slip story! What a hoot.
Happy Mother's Day :)

Binky said...

That was an inspired way to respond to the meme. In reading what you wrote about your mom, I think I learned as much about you as I would've if you answered the meme for yourself.

Mrs. Schmitty said...

Great post and great tribute!

Bon said...

ah, Fang must have been proud of you.

seriously, that was a beautiful tribute to your mom. my own mom has the same gap in her teeth, and the same reluctance to smile in photos, and now you have made me cry...

i am so sorry that Grandma Chicky's gone.

petite gourmand said...

awe, chicky what a great tribute.
I'm all teary now..

I hope you have a spectacular mother's day.

Damselfly said...

I obviously didn't know your mom, but I think she would be proud of you.

And I *loved* your blog exchange post!

Kris said...

I love this post, so wonderfully written.

"When she did notice she just stepped out of it, kicked it to the side and kept on dancing with all of her family cheering her on."

Now, that's an attitude to aspire to. I'm happy you had such a great mom.

Lawyer Mama said...

Fang. teehee

I'm going to copy you and write 10 things about my mom for Mom's Day. I think she'll get a kick out of that.

mommiebear2 said...

This was amazing - thanks for sharing with us.

OhTheJoys said...

What a priviledge to learn all that about your mom. Thanks for that.

Bones said...

Maybe the ghost of Grandma Chicky knocked the ball out of Kevin Millar's hand yesterday. a 5 run comeback with one out in the bottom of the 9th? hasn't happend since 1971. And on mother's day? Can't be a coincidence. Thanks Grandma C.

(oh, and if you missed the game, you missed the most enjoyable single inning of non-playoff, not redsox vs yankees redsox baseball i've ever seen)

Amy said...

I really, really loved this. Made me want to do one for my dad.

Hope your mom's day was wonderful.