Life : Yo Mama Loves Smoochie : By Raynor Blazely
My mother deserves a medal. I’m an only child, and I wasn’t a particularly precocious one as a tot. I was shy and awkward and, let’s be real, a little bit weird. Not full-on, where-did-you-come-from-the-trolls-stole-my-baby-and-replaced-it-with-a-changeling weird, but weird enough.
One reminder of this is a framed print on the wall in my parents’ bedroom. It depicts a four-year-old me sitting behind a fabric-draped box pointing out a shark in a scrapbook that I seemed to think was of particular note.
She’d hired a photographer to take some snaps of me for the family, I guess. But, I refused to sit on the nicely dressed box, deciding it would be a much better idea to photograph my scrapbook instead. She begged, pleaded and reasoned with me to just sit on the gosh darn box and smile, but I was adamant and she eventually let me have my way. I don’t remember why I didn’t want to be snapped, though I have vague recollections of thinking the camera might steal my soul or something. I had some crazy ideas back then.
I wasn’t a constant oddity to Ma, at least, I hope I wasn’t. Most of the time, we were odd together. Our individual brands of weird overlap, and there’s always been lots of silliness. For instance, she has practically hundreds of pet names for me; perhaps one time in twenty I’ll actually hear my given name. Generally it’s Poody, Smoochie, Scooter, Bubba, Poodaloochi , Skidoo, Bunnybennoo… the list goes on. The exception is when she’s talking about me to someone else, lest they look at us like the mad people we are.
When I went overseas for seven months, she insisted that she needed a puppy so that she’d “have something to care for while Poody’s gone”. It turned out that the dog has the same colored hair as I do, so now she refers to us as “The Twins”.
Recently Ma told me the she overheard some people talking about how money was tight because they had kids at uni. She said that she felt a little guilty then because while she’d given me money when I was at uni (my parents even paid for two years of residential college), she didn’t bankroll my whole life. Maybe, she said, that’s what parents are supposed to do and she could have done more? Well! She did a lot more.
She gave me the gift of believing that I could do it on my own. (Of course, helping and supporting me when I needed it.) I knew she’d be there in an instant if things went pear-shaped, but she encouraged me to live my life, and to make my own decisions and mistakes.
She knew I had to find my own way, and I find it I did. I’m a far better person because of it. Because of her. And as my Ma says, I’m “Living a successful life!”
I think that’s the difference between just being a mother, and being a best friend as well. There are Hallmark cards that probably disagree with me, but I think while having a child makes you a mother, it doesn’t guarantee you’ll be good at it. That unconditional and unwavering trust and faith in your child is a much rarer gift. My Mum has always believed in me. Perhaps she knows what a self-doubting person I am and that I needed her trust to bolster myself?
Now that I’ve grown up, I can see that she’s not just my beloved, unfailing Mama, she’s a beautiful human with her own self-doubts. It’s my turn to tell her how amazing she is.
Miriam Blazely, you have my heart forever!
Raynor Blazely is a crocheteer (like a mouseketeer, but crochet; it’s a thing), knitter, crafter, blogger, instructor, writer, office drone, dreamer. He blogs at The Shy Lion.