Today is Mothers’ Day in Costa Rica. We’ve lived in 3 different countries with 3 different dates for Mothers’ Day, so I think I should get 3 presents one on each holiday! What do you think?
Today, in honor of Costa Rican Mothers’ Day, I’m going to post a tribute to my mother.
Seventeen and pregnant, that’s a common story now days. But in 1974 it meant you felt the full weight of your decisions. You wouldn’t graduate with your high school class. You wouldn’t wear a white wedding dress or be married in a church. No college for you. Your future darkened with ominous storm clouds. Your family would be furious with you and zealous for their reputation. Did you wonder how they would react, or did you already know?
You heard whispers behind your back. Did someone suggest an abortion? That would have been an easy out. How would that decision impact the future? You couldn’t know. Making the tough choice for ME required sacrifices for YOU. The ripples of your decision to keep me still flow outward from that point in 1974. Taylor, Emma and Lucy.
What kind of jobs could teenage parents get in 1974, you would soon find out. You couldn’t make enough money to pay the bills. After their anger cooled, your parents set you guys up in a starter home. Pulling the cord to start the engine of adult life required several good yanks. But soon that engine purred and the two of you began to move along the up-and-down road of life. There were joys. There were tears. There were stubborn refusals to thrown in the towel and quit. There were straight spines and stiff upper lips. There was happiness and laughter. Two became Three.
A blue-eyed baby was born into the world of 8-track stereos and bell bottom jeans, Chef Boyardee and Pontiacs without seat belts. My memories are like sunbeams with particles of dust floating through them. Dusty and vague, cheery and warm.
None of your friends had kids yet, but you took me along with you anyways. I remember falling asleep in a pile of coats in the corner while adult conversations drifted from the table. I remember your 21st birthday. I remember what gifts we gave you. I remember camping and canoeing, bike rides to the public library, picnics on a blanket under the trees, the kiddie pool in the back yard. I remember Rocket Park and Brown-Zipper-Buckle-Boots. I remember late nights sleeping in the back of the car, waiting to pick up Dad after work. “Why do birds suddenly appear” and “Rain drops keep falling on my head”. I remember footie pajamas sliding on vinyl seats. I remember you playing Winnie-the-Pooh on the piano for me. I remember your soft humming voice in contrast to Dad’s rowdy, roaring, chasing voice. I remember you.
When I held MY first baby, suddenly I knew you. I heard your echo in my soul, and I understood you for the first time. I cried. Thank you for my life. I love you Mom!