She worked really hard and would usually come home from a long day of work to the coziness of the couch (right next to my dad's recliner) with a blanket to watch some tv. She would take the blanket and cover herself up to her eyeballs. She left a little room so she could see the tv. Her and my dad would usually commence to having a snoring contest at around 8pm. Their little before bedtime siestas were common place and oddly comforting.
My mom cleans for a living. She worked for a long time at a LaQuinta Inn, where she got promoted to housekeeping manager. Every day before she left for work, she would wake up extra early to clean our house. Our old wooden 70's furniture sparkled the most first thing in the morning. There wasn't a dirty dish to be found and I rarely ever woke to the sound of her vacuuming at 5am. Now she's a 'freelance' cleaner. She has several clients that couldn't possibly live without her. We couldn't have either.
For years, I tried desperately not to be like my mom. I did, however, develop the ability to pop my gum with my back teeth without blowing a bubble. I didn't mind learning that. No matter how hard I tried not to be like her, it happened despite all of my efforts to prevent it. I 'put things away' and then forget where I've put them. I have her crooked pinkie fingers. See...
Other than having her facial characteristics (along with a mixture of my dad's) and knowing her little odd quirks, I don't know much about my mom. I don't know her favorite color. I don't know what she wanted to be when she grew up. I don't know what her favorite movie is or if she has a favorite book. I don't know any of her favorite things. I don't know why we've never become friends.
Even though I feel as if I don't know anything about my mom, I love all of the things I do know. We were never close, and there are probably reasons why that I can pinpoint but they aren't appropriate for a blog. Those things didn't stop me from naming my little girl after her. Maybe one day my mom and I will be friends. The kind that you see in those movies like Heartbreakers. Okay, maybe that's a bad example, but you get the idea.
For now, I'll keep answering all the silly questions my son asks me on a daily basis. I'll try not to worry so much when they start to sound just like me when they say things like...
Belle, do you know how many calories are in that french fry?
Because it simply means, they know who I am and they know what my aspirations and goals are. They pay attention and they love me. I wish I would have paid more attention to my mom. Now the miles separate us and I'm left with 20 minute phone calls about the kids once every couple of weeks and the memories of a mother that cared enough to work her young life away just for me.