Guest Post: Michelle!

December 7, 2012

Happy Friday, readers! Please welcome Michelle with open arms–her blog is freaking hilarious. I just discovered her blog a few months ago, and I’m smitten. I know you will love her, too.


Are You My Mother?

One of the few things my mom inadvertently taught me was to see the magic in nature. This mom of mine wasn’t big on interaction. She kinda just did her thing, providing the necessities for five kids, going through her days depressed and overwhelmed. She rarely smiled. She was not affectionate. She did not engage us not even a how was school today? She was not very good at protecting us from the day to day hurts of a child’s life, nor helping us recover from those hurts. She was not a haven. So any sort of mommy-esque attention left an indelible impression.
I remember in winter she would sprinkle birdseed on the stone wall, and point out the blue jays, cardinals, and starlings that gathered. In spring she would show us birds nesting in the azaleas or the Japanese maple in our front yard. I remember if I  couldn’t   quite   see  she might hold my face in her hands and point my sights in the right direction. If she was feeling extra comfy in her own skin, she might even put her cheek against mine, allowing us to share the vision. So memorable, these rare slices of intimacy and physical contact. And in my mind, it was her connection with nature that moved her past her own discomfort and disconnect to a place where she could have a special moment with her child.
In the past few days, I’ve noticed a pair of birds flitting around the ferns I moved out to the porch last week. It kind of occurred to me that they were weirdly close to the house, almost as if they were scoping out real estate.
This is the male. Small, sparrow-like with a red head and shoulders.

This is the female, perched on the edge of the fern
It’s a lovely spot. I enjoy it. But from a bird’s eye view, seems kind of too close to humans for comfort

So Ty & Mia come running in after school mommy look there was a nest yesterday and now there are eggs mommy come look come look at the eggs
Lo and behold…
Two larger pale blue eggs with brown speckles. Four small light blue eggs. I think maybe the bigger eggs were abandoned, left by an abandoning mama birdie squatter.
I think about the birds, and I think about my mom, and I think about my kids. I have tried to not be an abandoning mama birdie squatter. I do the things that were for some reason so hard for my mom to do. I smile at them, I laugh at them, I kiss them on their heads. I tell them good job. I listen to them. I tell them I love them.  I sit on them to keep them warm so they can hatch and fly away when the time is right.
I say leave the nest alone go out the back door so you don’t scare her… she needs to sit on her eggs or they won’t hatch. I want to protect the mama’s ability to care for her eggs. I feel for the mama bird. She’s just a bird, doing what she’s hardwired to do, but I anthropomorphize her instincts. Because tied up in the bird nest is the rare memory of my mother laying her cheek against mine, and whispering in my ear look, right between those branches… do you see the nest?
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Isn’t she great? Sorry about the formatting issues at the top of the post–I have a computer poltergeist that I cannot get rid of. Hope you have a wonderful weekend, and thanks, Michelle, for hopping over to my house!

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Arnebya December 7, 2012 at 7:43 am

Michelle, my mother was similar to yours in the lack of affection area. My mother was always aggravated, frazzled, too busy to help me with a puzzle, too tired to play, too disinterested in, well, me, it seemed. I try my hardest to not be this way with my kids (even though every now and then I catch myself in the too busy, too tired state and I quickly check myself. I do not want their memories of childhood to include a mom who was physically but not emotionally present. And apparently I have mommy issues.) I love that you have these snippets of good memories of your mom, though. I have them as well and I hold onto them.

More importantly, though, I LOVE THE COLORS OF YOUR HOUSE!

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TKW December 7, 2012 at 3:15 pm

Arnebya and Michelle, you are not alone. And I love the honesty of this post–you really put yourself out there, Michelle. That took guts.

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Contemporary Troubadour December 7, 2012 at 9:34 am

My mother was spread too thin when I was growing up, and while my younger siblings did get decent amounts of attention from her, I got lost in the shuffle big time. I know what those rare moments where you were the only person in her sphere mean, how they linger. Loved this post.

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TKW December 7, 2012 at 3:16 pm

C.T.

“How they linger” made me cry outright. I love you.

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Jennifer December 7, 2012 at 2:20 pm

We always learn to be better from our mothers. Either to be more like them, or not like them at all.

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TKW December 7, 2012 at 3:17 pm

Jen,

I know you. You will be the best thing.

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Jamie December 7, 2012 at 6:11 pm

Michelle, I think you have most awesomely painted house I’ve ever seen. Love it and the post!!

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The Meaning of Me December 7, 2012 at 7:33 pm

Sweet.

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Ms. Moon December 7, 2012 at 9:01 pm

Been smitten by Michelle for a long time. She’s the real deal. Which is obvious, from this post.

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Elizabeth Aquino December 8, 2012 at 12:36 am

Even when you’re not hilarious, you’re beautiful. I loved this post — such visual imagery from the descriptions of your mother holding your face to your own children, hatched from eggs that were warmed by you.

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Katie December 8, 2012 at 8:57 am

This hits close to home. Happy holidays, Michelle. You seem like a very good mama bird to me.

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Debbie December 10, 2012 at 8:55 pm

Beautifully said, and beautiful that you found that positive memory.

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