Saturday, May 8, 2010

Word to Your Mutha

When I see this picture, I am 9 years old. In the laundry room are all the plastic bins with clean folded clothes. I check them every few days, and take them to my room. When I say goodbye to my favorite shirt in the hamper, it quickly reappears in my bin. I wear it the next day and start the cycle over. I wonder why my little sister Niki has the name "Nicole" written on her bin.

When I see this picture it is summer on Apache Avenue. I am barefoot and golden-haired. My bedroom is in the basement. Every morning when I come upstairs I drop my head and plant it on the 2nd stair from the top, and then somersault up to the main floor to start my day. Eventually I need to plant my head on the 3rd stair from the top. During my afternoon head-plants, I finish my sequence only to discover chocolate chip cookies baking in the kitchen.

When she pulls out the cookies, they are dark golden brown. Once Mrs. Archibald next door brought us some cookies that were not dark, they were soft and chewy. I wonder why my mom bakes hers so long. Later in the day, we eat the overcooked (but not burned!) cookies with a glass of milk. We dip them and let them soak, until they break perfectly into our mouths.

Eventually I realize that you can't dunk Mrs. Archibald's cookies, so it's okay.

When I see this picture I am crossing off the job of "windexing and pledging the living room". I rub my rag all across the oversized record player made of wood. It's like a coffin for a kid. On the top is an aloe vera plant that is plump. I squeeze it, then bend it towards itself.

It breaks off! I'm afraid to tell my mom, because she waters it every week. When I get the nerve to tell her, she asks for the broken leaf so she can rub it on my skinned knee. She hugs me and tells me it's okay.

When I see this picture, I am looking confused at a workout video my mom is doing on our green shag carpet. At one point, she is sitting on the floor scuttling her back-side towards the TV. I wonder if she knows that scuttling on your bum looks dumb, but say nothing. Later I find out that she usually doesn't do the workout video because she is out walking every morning while I'm still asleep.

When I see this picture, I am browsing the mall trying to find as many cute outfits for school as possible on my school budget of $100. I am scouring the clearance racks, and biting my nails over a sweater that would cost twenty bucks. I buy a coral colored t-shirt at Copper Rivet, and follow my older sister to K-Mart to get identically colored socks to match the shirt. My mom keeps a notebook in her purse where she keeps track of all of our purchases.

I'm crossing my fingers that I can borrow my sister's clothes.

When I see this picture I am thankful. My mother delighted in me, even though she was a pageant girl and I was a tomboy. She baked me cookies, kissed my boo-boo's, washed my clothes, and asked me what boys I tango-ed with after every victory dance. Once, after years of me sleeping on the trampoline, she joined me. She was stiff the next day.

When I see this picture I hope to be as patient and happy as my mother. I hope to pray with my kids, laugh instead of scold, and to stay up late waiting for my kids to get home from their first date.

Thanks mom! Happy Mother's Day!


Lee Family said...

What a great mama we have. She was the only one who gave into my dramatics and told me she would miss me so much if I ran away. We sat down at the table with some cookies and we unpacked my suitcase consisting of stuffed animals and blankie.

She's a keeper that one.

I forgot about your somersault up the last step - that's funny. Remember our drawers - guaranteed Monica's was meticulous.
i miss my mommy

Monica said...

Loved hearing your memories of growing up. We do have an awesome mother! She is such a fun grandma, too. She always wants to play games and do puzzles with the kids. She has been teaching my girls piano lessons this year and they are doing great. Thanks, Mom! We love you!

Ambos, sorry if I didn't let you borrow my clothes and colorful socks. I wasn't the most generous of clothes lenders.

Niki, you were way drama. You drove me crazy. I'm glad you grew out of it cuz I love you too.

Wade and Marilyn said...

You made me cry! I love you all so much.

paula said...

Oh-this is beautiful. All the times I spent at your house I remember thinking that your Mom was great too...involved in every aspect of your upbringing. Did I ever tell you how much I loved your family and your home? It just felt so normal and healthy.

Had to laugh when I read Niki's comment about Monica's drawers.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful Amber.

Mrs. Olsen said...

Paula, you never told me how much you loved hanging out. You should have done it more (in high school)! But then you became a stupid tiger in I.F. It's okay, I still love you. Come over.

Niki...GUARANTEED Monica cleaned her drawer out once a week while I still had crap in it from years before. Maybe if I had shared a room with her I would be an awesome housekeeper now. Hmmmm?

Napes...I wondered if you ever visited the blog. I love you.

Angie said...

Awesome post lady! I loved reading all the memories..and I loved the somersault thing. Morgan does that same thing nearly every day. Something I never really payed attention to until you mentioned it, and now I will always remember it. Thanks.

Angie said...

BTW--I really want to try the citrus rice it really 4cups of chicken stock? Like 4 chicken bouillon cubes dissolved in water? Or 4 cups powder? (is this a dumb question?)

Angenette said...

Lovely! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I cried when I read this, too. Such happy days on Apache. I loved your mom's chocolate chip cookies as much as I loved my mom's. Also--we had clothes boxes with our names on them. Did our moms think that up together, or was it a homemaking idea that everyone in our ward knew?

Doesn't matter, really. I love you, Mrs. Anderson!

Claire the Shepherdess said...

Hi there!
Thanks for the comments on my baby goat blog. I thought I'd respond to you here. Baby goats sleep for much of the first few days. They will suckle briefly, and sleep. I have a house goat right now (bottle goat) and she only took about 1-2 ounces initially, then slept. That is totally normal. Don't worry about them. :-) The biggest concern is whether they can get their mouth on the teat - sometimes the momma goat has a big udder and big teats and the babies have tiny mouths and they can't manage it. As long as yours are nursing from time to time, they are fine. I would recommend CDT booster shots at 4 weeks of age, provided that their mom had her CDT booster 4 weeks prior to kidding. If not, they need it sooner - consult with your vet. This will prevent Clostridium infection and tetanus and is the only shot I give. Momma goat should get some extra water with karo syrup or molasses in it because she needs extra energy after the labor. Any other questions, feel free to ask anytime. I'm on my second year of kidding and lambing, so while I'm not an expert, I've experienced quite a lot by now.

Sarah said...

What about some carrot sticks soaked in pickle juice?

cozy said...

Write a book, Amber!!!!! This post confirms that you need to. What fun to have a walk back to a time I didn't know you. I knew you mother was a good woman, but it's fun to see her through your young eyes and know that she was a wonderful mother then like she is now. Thanks Marilyn for raising up our favorite tomboy, writer, mother in Nibley. We simply adore her!