I woke up this morning in a quasi-hangover state from too much US Weekly before bedtime. The literary prowess of their contributors truly amazes me. Take the Citizen’s Arrest column. I mean they can rhyme “Chloe Sevigny” with “Tacky” in seven words or less. That, or say something witty like “There’s nothing BIG to LOVE about this ensemble”. Genius! Reading it right before falling asleep, however, gives you polyester nightmares.
I have never thought I would write such a sentence.
Today is one of the best days of the year. It’s my mom’s birthday! My mom has been a huge stabilizing influence in my life. She was there to dry my tears and encourage me when I was woefully lovesick. She was there with a warm washcloth and a smile when I was recovering from food bingeing nights. She held my hair while I threw up after two sleeves of Double Stuf Oreos and a pint of Ben and Jerry’s. She was ready with the cashews when it was Gilmore Girls night.
Ok. One of those statements isn’t true. Can you guess which one?
While we were growing up our mom went to great pains to make us eat healthy. I remember many nights when it was getting close to bedtime and my brothers and I were still sitting at the table whining “But I don’t like (insert vegetable here)!” She would lovingly say “You need to eat it. It’s good for you. Take a few more bites.” At the same time we watched her go through many diets with varying degrees of success. She was never a heavy woman, she just wanted to lose a little weight. You know, as I think about it, she never really talked about it. It was only later, when I was older, that I realized that was what she was doing. She watched all of her sons get jobs and start coming home with greasy bags of fast food mush. She never said anything negative, but she always had a knowing look. “Are you sure that’s what you want for dinner honey?” “Yeah, mom, gaa! Get out of my room!” I could have been heard to say. Later in her life food started to hurt her. She had to stop eating certain things for fear of an upset stomach. The doctors told her that the trouble was with her gall bladder, so she had surgery. Food still hurts her from time to time, but I have seen her embrace this new lifestyle with vigor. She is waif thin, but don’t tell her she needs to eat more! She is excited about new foods to try and she keeps me updated on good blogs to read about healthy living and new recipes. Life has come full circle for me as now I am inheriting the wisdom that she has tried to give me since I was born. I realize that she was trying to spare me from the hurt I would feel years later in the grips of food addiction. If only I had listened to her sooner! You think I would realize listening to my parents was important. God even made it a commandment!
To honor my mother on this, her birthday, I beg of you all to follow the instruction of your dear mothers. Eat those vegetables with grace and a thankful heart. Thank your mother for caring so much about you that she has new containers of food for you every time you come over. “I made too much, I am never going to eat it” she will say. But, you will know in your heart that she was thinking of you when she made too much. That she wanted you to see that container when you open the refrigerator door and think “I can eat better, I have this!” That is what mothers are all about, my friends. Their love literally saves your life.
P.S. If you have a chance please read the comment my mom put on “Why is my Meal so Happy?” It is beautiful and very encouraging. It gave me the strength I needed to learn not to be defined by every single food decision.