Friday, May 10, 2013

And That's Why Luaus Are At Sunset....

I’m very thankful for my sister. In fact both my brother and I are for many reasons, like for instance the text she sent us last night.

“What should I get mom for Mother’s Day?”

Of course both my brother and I had been thinking about it, BUT as we both have the tendency to do, neither one of us did anything about the thinking. Long story short I neglected to even get the card in the mail on time (Like my brother said, if it wasn’t for Mandy mom would get her gift on Labour Day..) so I thought maybe I could put down a few thoughts about my mom.. and share it with everyone like I have been threatening to do for years. I know many of my immediate family members have been waiting on this blog since it was the very first book idea I said I would publish many, many years ago.

So here it is mom, a sort of grown up homemade Mother’s Day Card (but don’t worry Mandy got you something nice from all of us).

Matching Dresses.  Thanks Mom. 

That’s Why Luaus are at Sunset.. and Other Lies My Mother Told Me

My mom likes to tell stories. Whether they are her stories, or someone else’s, she loves to be the one who swoops in and tells THE most important part of the story, or the punch line (we will get to her efficacy of delivering a punch line later) before the person who spent all the time laying down the foundation for the funny little moment, or the surprising ending, can.

My whole life, my mom has explained the universe to me. That’s what moms do. What I started to learn as an adult though, is that sometimes my mom’s explanations or stories are not necessarily from fact. Let’s be clear here, she is not a habitual or compulsive liar, I think it’s just a leftover instinct to rationalize a world that can be hard to explain to your kids. I catch myself answering questions like this all the time.

“In this town McDonalds closes on this day.”

“Mommies are just smarter than Daddies.. we don’t know why.”

“Yes Mommy was a princess when she was younger.”

“I don’t know what vegetable that is, but I’m sure it’s a cousin of an artichoke.”

You catch my drift? As moms of little children we are often zooming around a thousand miles a minute with little people asking questions about everything, and while they can be as benign as “Why do people have eyes?” (Annabelle asked me that yesterday) to “How do you get to heaven.. float or take an invisible elevator?” (Ben’s question after my Grandpa passed away). Basically, you try the best to answer the questions as they come, but sometimes when pushed for a more intricate answer, it’s easiest to just say what you think the answer is.

The thing is, as you get older, and think back to things that your mom said or did.. you start to realize that maybe she made a bit of that up. And then you realize that she hasn’t really stopped the habit of trying to rationalize the world for her adult children. And now, as we have caught her, and DAD at some instances doing, we have figured out that in some cases, mom is just making sh#t up as she goes along.

Driving in Maui a few years ago, we were all talking about the Luau we were headed to that night. Suddenly mom piped in and said, “You know why Luaus are at sunset.. right?” She continued, “It’s because it’s all native Hawaiians that work at the Luaus, but they don’t pay a lot of money, so they have to have another job during the day in order to make ends meet. So that’s why you can never go to a Luau during the day.”

You can imagine the sounds in the car as we all laughed and snorted informing mom that Luaus are at sunset because it’s an ancient sunset ceremony of the brining in of the warriors and food for celebrations. I mean I guess she’s maybe right about having to have another job thing.. but not so much about the reason behind the timing of the Luaus. She then admitted she didn’t know that as fact, but it was what she supposed. This, in essence, is my mother.

Another favorite story of mom is when she attempted to take a bus from Regina to the small town Mike and I were living in before we had Ben. My mom loves to chit chat ( a real shocker I know) and was having a great conversation with someone she ran into at the bus depot. They laughed and talked, boarded the bus and off they went. As they got onto the highway, Mom started noticing they were maybe taking a different way out of town. After the first stop she realized that she was, in fact, on a bus going precisely in the wrong direction. She was not coming to see me.. oh no. She was going to Saskatoon.

She was in luck though, my dad and sister were actually also on their way to see us from Alberta, and it would work out for them to pick her up from the bus depot on the way through.

That’s where her luck ended. About 30 minutes out of Regina they hit road conditions that were so bad, they ended up having to pull over, as were multiple semis and other vehicles. The roads were white, no driving lane visible, and getting closed behind them. Suddenly she saw Semi’s pulling up hauling RV’s. Well, between her and her newfound friend, they have discovered with joy that they were obviously being put up in RV’s for the night!

You can imagine their disappointment when the RV’s left, continuing enroute to their destination, and their bus followed the chain of vehicles ready to continue as well.

She never, ever got teased about this. Ok, still to this day we bug her about the RV’s when we see them on the highway. And, the worst part is we would never have been the wiser if she wouldn’t have relayed her blonde moment to us upon getting picked up at the WRONG bus depot. That’s a really good thing about my mom.. she can laugh at herself.

But these are all fairly recent stories, my favorite is actually from our childhood.

Christmastime. My favorite time of the year!

We decorated the tree, celebrated together in our house stuffed full of family, delicious food, lights, music and the excited anticipation of what Christmas morning would bring. Santa and his reindeer were spotted in the sky as us kids ran around drunk on the promise of candies, and toys, and ripping through presents faster than the year before. We, like most children hung our stockings, posing for the annual picture that Mom insisted Dad take, set out milk and cookies for Santa and his reindeer, and took ½ a Gravol and went to bed.

Wait. You didn’t have the tradition of mom giving you a little pink pill before bed at Christmastime? See, I thought all kids did until I got a bit older and started asking my friends about their Christmas Eve traditions. It turns out other people’s moms weren’t as sneaky as ours. We were definitely going to get a good nights rest.

Oh, Mom.

There are so many stories I have in my arsenal about growing up as your daughter. While I’ve poked fun of some of your more.. let’s call them original moments, most of them center around…

…A home cooked meal every night, despite you working full time (I used to get annoyed that I would have to turn the oven on as a teenager when I got home from school, to pop whatever lovely meal you had prepared the night before in. I really, really wish someone would do that for me now…).

…Taking us everywhere you went. Driving all the way from hockey tournaments to Disneyland and never knowing that Justin used to drive us around in the van when he was 14.

..Always doing my hair, and dressing me in cute outfits. But I will never, ever thank you for perming my bangs. That was cruel.

…A yard more beautiful than any one else’s on the block, rubbing our backs when we didn’t feel good, being hard on us and never believing me when I said a teacher just didn’t like me for no good reason (“What did you do Brittany?), waiting up every single night we went out in high school (I didn’t really like that much back then.. ), lying to me in labour with Ben that pushing would feel better, and listening to my baby breathing on the phone (“Isn’t is sooo cute Mom??!!”).

…Being the most loyal supporter of the three of us in hockey, dance, cheer, and even still horses. (I can actually hear Dad muttering “they eat, shit and spend my money” as I type.)

…Bossing Granny around and then being mad that I boss you around, and then laughing when Belle bosses me around.

You know, just regular, everyday memories that are all at once, average, but truly remarkable in the nature that this love was expected from you by us all our lives, because it was just always there.

So, Happy Mother’s Day Mom!! You truly are one of a kind.

We love you, and the stories you make up. xoxo

I'm pretty sure this is how you still see us.

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