My mother is a sappy woman. If I’m sitting next to her she’ll lightly stroke my arm. Sometimes I catch her staring at me. Just staring at me with a little proud grin on her face.
It creeps me out. I know, I know. She loves me. And it is wonderful that I have never in my life doubted that my mother loves me. But it still gives me the heebie-jeebies.
This quality in my mother got worse when I got pregnant. My mom was dying to be a grandmother. She seriously could not wait and she couldn’t exactly hide the fact that she thought her children were making her wait way too long to experience grandmotherhood. So when I told her I was pregnant with her first grandchild, I braced myself for some serious ooey-gooey mommy love. I tried to indulge her as much as I could. I mentally counted to thirty as she rubbed my back while we watched tv. I gritted my teeth when she touched my stomach when I was only 8 weeks pregnant (that’s just my stomach Mom, there’s nothing more than a little speck of a baby in there, so you’re just touching my stomach – it’s weird). There was one particular phone conversation that we were wrapping up and I thought to myself, “ok good. She didn’t say anything painfully cheesy this time. Phew.” And then my mother sighs a big dramatic sigh and says to me, “I love you honey. More than you can EVER imagine.” Gag.
When I brought my baby girl home from the hospital I found myself, like most new moms, frequently gazing at her in awe. Three years later and I’m still in awe. Being a mother is amazing. The love that I have for my daughter is immense. She makes me so proud and so happy (she makes me want to pull out my hair as well, but we’ll get to that). I jump at the chance when she’s watching cartoons and says, “Mommy, will you cuddle with me?” I melt when she reaches over with her amazingly soft fingers and holds my hand. I watch her on the monitor a little longer than is really needed to just check on her. And it’s not out of the ordinary for me to tear up a bit in the silent moments after she falls asleep cuddled up with me and I start thinking about how beautiful she is and how much I love her.
So ok Mom. I get it now. I still don’t really want you to touch me. But at least I get it now.