We received a care package in the mail today. My Mother has always enjoyed sending me special things. In college, I'd get the best stress relieving packages ever right around finals---full of homemade cookies, funny quotes, and goof-off gear [ie squirt guns, silly hats, etc.]. She added little love notes to my lunch box every day in grade school. I'd find cute post-it notes applied to my mirrors saying things like, "Have a great day, babe. Love you, Mom."
Of course, there were years that I despised my Mother just because that is what teenagers do. We hate our parents for being so....dumb, lame, uncool. Ah, how I wish I could retract all of the horrendously mean things I said to my Mother when I was younger. I take it all back, Mom. You are the best.
Anyway, I digress. We got a care package today full of goodies. Items include: a bling-tastic charm for Henry's dog tag, a hand held game for Nate to play while I'm busy scrapbooking [or blogging, I suppose] and a snuggle dud blanket for my cold evenings, working on scrapbooks:
[note my very serious face in these pictures. The blanket is more like a poncho and it's the bomb. I haven't taken it off since it's arrival]
And the best gift ever? A handwritten journal by my Mom, begun two weeks after my birth and continuing until I was eight years old, dedicated to me. It's a fabulous shade of faded yellow corduroy with the 80's floral pattern splashed across:
Here is the first page, saying "Our Baby--Julia" and I took the liberty of adding my personal signature later in life. Hey, it was my book, right?
It's full of my Mom's pretty cursive handwriting. When she was really tired, in my newborn days, her scrawl gets harder to read. It's so interesting to see the progression of time through her script:
Then there was this cut out person. I can only assume that I drew this person, who is naked, and bearing some incredibly ugly private parts. Maybe I just learned about genitals and was fascinated?
Now that's what I call some junk in the trunk! No, that isn't a butterfly behind her, it's the butt. Talk about being confused when this thing fell from the pages of the journal. I was a true artiste, I suppose.
Anyway, I've spent most of my evening curled up in my poncho, pouring through the pages of my Mother's life with her daughter. My first thought? I'm TOTALLY doing this for my kids, but maybe by way of the internet. Lots of moms blog about their children, right? Mom was just ahead of her time.
Some of her early entries make me scared to have children. I know I will be every bit as neurotic as my loving mother. And I know it would be extremely hard, being a Type A, to let the baby set the schedule.
"11-11-81: I think I've been overdoing the perfect mother thing. I never leave her. I answer every peep. I think I need to be at this place right now so I can get a better perspective on things. I need to let myself leave her now and then , and not feel guilty!"
I know it was extremely hard on her, after being married for 6 years and being a whopping 27 years old to give up her career to be a Mom. Her journal is very descriptive about her struggle with going back to work versus staying home with me. I am so proud of her for staying home. And she didn't regret it for one second.
My Mom was always such a great mother. Always.
"6-2-81: Tonight after her 8:30 feeding I just wanted to hold her and hold her. She's such a doll. I love feeling close to her and holding her near me. I want to develop a really good relationship with her. I really love her. She smiled at me real big several times today."
Some things have not changed with me, in 26 years of life.
"Monday 5-11-81 she had her first medical exam and screamed. I think she was cold with no clothes on. She does not like her clothes off or to be cold."
And seriously, I was probably the funniest child ever. And very profound for being so young. I was born in April of 1981, in case you are wondering how old I am in these quotes:
"12-21-83: Cute sayings....Grandpa Baker says,'You sure tickle gently' and Julia says, 'I know, because I'm nice and I love you.'.....'I'm independent.'......To Daddy when she couldn't get her point across, 'You just don't understand me, Dad.'
"2-9-84: Two men were arguing on TV and she said,'That's not nice, is it Daddy?' Later she said, 'Mommy talks to you that way sometimes.' "
"6-29-84: Cute sayings...Julia wanted some Wintergreen mints and couldn't remember what to call it, so she asked for 'Snow Gum.' "
"10-23-84: The other day in McDonalds, Julia asked me where my happy face was as I sat in deep thought. Then she proceeded to ask me if I was sad, mad, depressed, happy, glad---Then she asked if I was scrunchy. I told her I didn't know what that meant and she replied, 'Scrunchy is when you feel healthy in your tummy.' "
"4-23-85: The other day Nelson was talking about work and how his boss was yelling at him. Julia, who didn't seem to be listening said, 'Daddy, next time your boss yells at you, just go into your office, close the door and ignore him.' Nelson laughed so hard he nearly split a gut."
"7-10-85: When we got home, Julia asked [as she always does] to have a friend over. I said she'd played with friends all morning and afternoon--why couldn't she just play by herself for awhile? She answered, 'Mom, I'm not like you. I'm a child.' "
"1-23-86: She was in the family room the other day and said,'Dad, now that you have a job, there's several things I've been wanting.' Ha! I chimed in, 'Me, too!' "
Some of my Mother's entries make my heart hurt. Make me miss her dearly, appreciate everything she did and does for me, and makes me yearn to be a mother myself. These are the type of things that would make it all worthwhile.
"3-9-85: Tonight I was washing Julia's hair as she was looking up at me and said, 'Mom, when I grow up I want to be a mother just like you.' Then coming home from the store she says, 'You're not being a very good Mommy today.' I asked why. 'Because you wouldn't let me have the candy and you're making me wear my coat.' "
"6-29-84: Today I talked to Julia's teachers at preschool and they gave a glowing report. They said Julia is very bright and she shows signs of leadership. She described Julia as kind and said that when a child was crying , Julia hugged her and tried to comfort her. Julia doesn't sit around, rather is involved and utilizes activities offered."
"9-29-85: Tonight on our way to bed she said, 'Mommy, when I grow up, I want to marry someone just like you.' She hugs REAL tight and says, 'and that's how much I love you.' Those things tug at my heart and I'll treasure them forever."
I am truly blessed to have such an amazing Mother. I cannot imagine life without her and can only hope to be half of the Mother she was to me.
Someday. Not now. After reading about my first year of life I think I need to wait a good 2 years before kids. It was quite frightening. Sleep deprivation can do mean things to your mind.
I love you, Mom. And to any other daughters and mothers out there, I hope you enjoyed a peek into my Mom's journal.