I always wished I could do things with my mom like shop in the mall, share makeup secrets or go to the movies and watch romantic comedies. My wish never materialized. My mama behaved like a tomboy. She loved baseball and pitched with a strong right arm. She could care less about the latest fashion or the latest movies featured on the big screen. She never polished her fingernails.
One day after elementary school, I walked into the house to find my mom all dolled up in front of the bathroom mirror, foundation crème, powder, eyebrow pencil and rouge all over the counter sink. “Who are you?” I asked, thrilled to see my mama putting on the Ritz. Makeup in place and blotted, she immediately took it off. “I don’t like the way it feels,” she exclaimed.
She retired in Arizona and protected her dry lips with a light rose lipstick, the color of natural lips, a step above ChapStick. She wore it a few times experimenting once again with makeup. I visited and she showed me her new tube. “I want to give it to you. I don’t like it,” she said. I accepted it not for the color, but because it belonged to my mother. It became a treasure. For years, it lay next to my pens, staples and paper clips in my top desk drawer at work. You never know when you just need a touch from mom to ward off a bad day.
I still have the tube of lipstick. Occasionally I’ll apply it and think of her. It’s a connection point for me like a kiss from Heaven.
I’m a different mom than my mother. I have more in common with my adult daughters. They resemble models with their beautiful Czech features and tall height. Most of the time, however, you’ll find them in sneakers and tee shirts. They’re athletic, but not tomboys.
I received an early Mother’s Day gift weeks ago. The girls combined their cash and bought me a Fitbit, a wrist device that records my steps. I am forever receiving their challenges through email. I perform or I get the pep talk. Oh, they are so competitive! I get it. They want connection with me like I wanted with my mom. I embrace it with gusto.
This Mother’s Day, I reflect on my itty bitty babies whose steps I encouraged their first years. I ponder how now they are encouraging mine. We don’t have everything in common, but the most important steps we share together lead us in the right direction. The direction of our Christian faith and that brings us ultimate fulfillment.
If they modeled tee shirts, I would buy one.
Love to get my steps in at this pretty park near my home.