No wonder my happy heart sings
My mom is visiting us, along with my dad, while Noel is away at the Sundance Film Festival. They’ve been helping out immensely. I expected the delicious home-cooked meals we’ve been enjoying since Friday. What I didn’t anticipate was that they’d save my bacon when the furnace failed, and they shivered while waiting for the repairman while I had to be at work.
I think this is a great picture of my mom wearing the cowl I made for her for Christmas. But I know she’d disagree.
Like a lot of woman of a certain age, Mom hates having her picture taken. Starting Christmas Day when I talked to her on the phone, I made it clear that I needed a picture of her wearing it for my project notebook. She put me off, jokingly from a distance, but then more adamantly when she got here. I only got this snap by pretending that I wasn’t including her face in the photo, and she barely stood still for it. This was the second shot (I really did only photograph the cowl in the first), and she’s bolting for the street — I’m surprised the picture isn’t a blur.
I know Mom is serious about thinking she looks terrible in pictures. And I’m sure I’ll be the same way in a few years. We carry around the image of ourselves in our heads, and it gets frozen at a certain age. We don’t like to be reminded that we’ve moved on from that point. Mom says that she’s lost weight, and her face is too thin, and she looks terrible. And given her vehemence, I’m sure she believes it.
But to me, she looks just the way I remember her throughout my upbringing. When I see pictures from that time, she seems impossibly young — too young to have kids, practically a girl. In my memories, she’s exactly the way she is now — maybe a little more spry, maybe a little lighter on her feet, but mature, smiling, authoritative. A mother.
I know my dad will look at this page, but I hope he’ll see fit to keep it a secret from Mom. I want to add her face at this moment to all my memories. She may not believe it, but it fits right in.