Simple At Our House

"We're just so simple here at our house."  My mother, the woman without guile, the soft mom who remembers details about my classmates from the third grade, the one who cried when we spilled a pitcher of lemonade all over the kitchen floor over 20 years ago and I didn't understand.

I told Carl the other day that I think I've been waiting my whole life to be 30.  It may be that I no longer feel sympathy or puzzlement at my mom those 20 years ago, rather, I want to champion her.  I understand things my childish heart could not.  I want to award my mom giant bouquets of sunflowers, and at the same time, I want to hold her while I tell her thank you for her best and quietest gifts to me. I want to thank her for keeping things simple enough that I believed I could do anything.  I'm glad it took the world to tell me I could not, because by then, I was already too stubborn and naive to stop.

When my mom said to me over the phone, with my babies wailing in the background, "We're just so simple over here at our house." I knew she was speaking the absolute truth and I loved her more all day for it.  My already sunny memories of my childhood seemed a little brighter as I sifted through them that afternoon.  My heart warmed to bursting as I shed the stigmas I had attached to simpleness, and instead took to wearing the simpleness of both my past life and my present life as a beaming badge.

Sure, growing up most of my mom's recipes flaunted sour cream, butter, or both, as to say, we were not organic, nor drinking any blended kale; we shopped for shoes at Mervyn's once a year and I didn't know Gap was a brand until junior high; I spent hours on the back patio spraying the hose and collecting potato bugs under a rock. We had a brief stint with a boat in my teenage years, but mostly we went camping for vacations.  Neither of my parents were famous, though very sociable and always well liked.  Mostly, they were just nice.  Their faith is simple, their house is simple, and though the details do not always perfectly align to simple, I can count on bringing anyone into their home and know they will be loved simply and fully.

I guess this all goes to say, don't worry about it.  You're probably a very good parent.  You're most likely a good friend, neighbor, person.  The world is a nexus of complexity and sometimes I think it's good for our souls to challenge that.

My Remy boy and my Thea girl need a simple mom.  Not an un-smart, un-ambitious mom who doesn't question the hell out of most things, but just a mom who is willing to say, "We're just simple here at our house." and be confident in the carrying out of that sentence.  I'm working on it.  


Shelly said...

The most beautiful thing!

Elle Keeps Moving said...

This post is total perfection.

Barb said...

Man, this is great.

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