My Mama

Sunday, May 9, 2010

When I was a kid my family went on numerous car trips. Grandma and Grandpa were about three hours away, aunts and uncles an hour or two, and occasionally my Mom and Dad loved to take a rambling Sunday afternoon drive (I still don't understand this particular enjoyment).

My sister and I would be squished into the back seat of our family sedan (road trips were much more enjoyable when we finally got a mini-van and April and I were out of touching distance) with a plethora of essential entertainment: books, magazines, our diskman, pillows, snacks, barf bags, etc. Inevitably there would be fighting, and tears, and whining, and every car trip's priceless question: Are We There Yet?

Finally, lulled by the vehicles motion and the long days events we would get sleepy. I would grab my pillow, make sure my door was locked (I still have a compulsive obsession with making sure the car doors are always locked), and try to sleep against the window. Unlike my sister, I was never a good car sleeper. I would wiggle and moan and start whining once again. Rather than hushing my complaints my Mom would merely slip her hand behind her seat. She would grope around until she found me. Instantly comforted we would quietly hold each others hands until I fell into dreamland.

You know when you close your eyes and think of someone it's usual in some type of context. Whenever I close my eyes and think of my mother it's always a picture of her bending her arm around her car seat to hold me. Such a simple act, but one of my most prominent childhood memories.

Lately I've found myself doing the same with my son. Although he's too young to really understand, whenever he cries in the car I reach around behind me, find his hand and softly hold it. It's not very comfortable for me, but if it brings him just a small measure of rest than I am more than willing to pay the sacrifice. Just one of the many ways I hope to emulate my own mother.

Thanks Mom for holding my hand. I love you!

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