Wednesday, April 21, 2010

My Mother

Here are three little things that meant a lot.

1. When I was 3 or 4, our church had a beauty pageant for girls of that age if you can imagine such a thing. Mom spent weeks making me a dress. I dreaded the event. And I hated dressing up. But I was scared to say how I felt, because I knew it was such a big deal.

The day came and we drove to the church in downtown Baltimore. The pageant was in the gym in the basement of the church, and there were bleachers where people were sitting and there were bright lights and a photographer. My mom took my hand but I couldn't walk over to the lineup of little girls all dressed up and smiling. I waited til then to tell my mom I couldn't do it; I didn't want to be in it. I looked down at my dress. I remember feeling that she understood, and we went home.

2. Around that same time–age 3 or 4–one afternoon I wanted a present so badly. Something mysterious wrapped up in paper with a ribbon that I could unwrap. I remember being on my rocking horse in the kitchen and wishing so much for a prize of some kind. We took naps, and when I woke up, there was a tiny box wrapped up in wrapping paper and tied with a bow for me on the washing machine by my horse. I was delighted! I unwrapped it. It was a pack of gum. It was wonderful to have wished for a present and then to have had one to unwrap. Obviously it didn't matter what the hell it was. She just understood that I wanted a treat to unwrap.

3. Around that same time Mom took me to my first movie. It was a Walt Disney movie. Snow White or Sleeping Beauty. After 10 or 15 minutes I was ready to go. I wanted to go outside and PLAY. So we left.

I signed up for the best writing class. It began yesterday. You're given a prompt every day, then you write for 10-12 minutes. Every week you're assigned a different partner. You exchange writing with your partner through e-mail. Today's prompt was "My mother."