Thursday 8 September 2011

Mummy Dearest

No.  She is not, nor has ever been, a "Juggalette"
Growing up in our house wasn't easy.  In fact it was downright crazy.  My (step)dad was a lying, cheating asshole parents didn't really get along well which meant there was a lot of fighting. Mummy had this amazing ability to cope with all of the projectiles shit that The Asshole life threw at her because of her innate sense of fun. She made the fact that we were growing up in a broken home okay by distracting us with her awesomeness.

When I grew up, and The Asshole was no longer a contaminating influence, I found out she was even more cool than I thought.  So here is my list of "Reasons Why Mummy Dearest, Despite her Trivial Flaws, is Totally Awesome."

1)  She is a big kid.  She was better at being a kid than us kids were.  She laughed the hardest and loudest at Daffy Duck cartoons.  She went on all the amusement park rides.  We would fight over who got to sit next to her and when gravity cemented our helpless little bodies against her she would tickle us until we begged for mercy.  Halloween was the best holiday ever because she always dressed up and always came up with fun costume ideas (see above) and she let us stay out until after all the other trick-or-treaters had abandoned the streets.  All of our birthday cakes were encrusted with a Hansel-and-Gretel-esque assortment of candies.  She taught us how to make strawberry Twizzlers into straws and drink cream soda through them.
2)  She's a movie-addict.  I'd say cinephile but that implies a certain taste in film that our love of horror and B-flicks just can't live up to.  Sometimes she used to wake me up in the middle of the night because she was too afraid to watch a scary movie alone.  We rented three movies every Friday night until we ran out of all the good movies the store had and started watching terrible movies, too.  We found out that the worst movies were also the funniest.  She used to take us, our cousins and the dog to the drive-in for the "Dusk til Dawn" nights with a garbage bag full of popcorn, a roasting pan full of homemade caramel corn, and a cooler full of soda.  When I was pregnant, our ritual was to go to prenatal class and then go to her place after to watch baby-related movies.  All the classic, heart-warming baby movies like "Rosemary's Baby", "The Omen" and "Alien".

3)  She is the best story-teller.  She mostly made us laugh but she could also scare the bejeebus out of us by the campfire.  It is impossible to be around her when she is telling a story and not get so sucked into it you are no longer aware of your surroundings.  And she has just about zero self-consciousness when she is in story telling mode.  She is so committed to the story that she has no fear of making a complete ass of herself in the telling.  Which is what makes it so much better.  She could have had a great career on the stage.

3)  She can rock out!  Can I tell you how shocked I was to find out, 15 years after I discovered them and used them to piss of my parents, that Mummy had become a huge Nine Inch Nails fan?  Let me just say that you haven't really lived until you've seen your middle-aged mom sitting in the third row of Molson Amphitheatre screaming out all the lyrics to "Closer".  If Trent Reznor ever ran into her in a dark alley, he would come out of it with a lot less hair.  And clothes.  She wants him, bad. I have gone with her to two NIN concerts and a Tool concert.  I had two tickets to see Explosions in the Sky at the Opera House in Toronto and took her instead of my husband because I knew she'd be more fun (Sorry, Daddy).  And she was.

4)  She's messed up.  Her example of still being a great mom despite not fitting the traditional mommy-mold is the key to my survival as a mom now.  She managed to play up her strengths and not let her weaknesses drag her down into a pit of inadequacy and self-loathing.  She definitely made a lot of mistakes and she often wishes she could have done better but she is always telling me that I need to be my own authentic messed up self.  She helps me understand that trying to achieve motherly perfection is a fool's errand and a waste of precious time and energy that could better be spent on accepting myself and getting real about who I really am.

5)  Best of all, despite being quirky and messed up and sometimes a little forgetful she is always there for me when I really, really need her.  Not only has she been present during the important moments of my life, but she has supported just about every decision I ever made (she really hated the black hair phase).  She never does a thing to make me feel incompetent as a mom even though I'm always telling her how much I'm screwing up.

They say that a good mom is a mother and not a friend.  My mom somehow managed to do both.

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