I guess it’s time

I’ve been holding out for Mother’s Day to do this, (No, Chin, not that Mother) but May is a long way away, and I’ve got some inspiration. The other reason is that there is enough to talk about here to fill several posts, and I just feel like it. Okay? Anyhow, I’m going to start a new paragraph and tell you some things about my Mom.

She was born in 1919 in Macon, Georgia, and lived her first five years on a pecan orchard while her mother worked as a chore woman for the man who was her biological father. In those days, men were given free reign to bed any of the help, and Granny was a looker. Oh geez, that’s not my mother, she wasn’t born until the 50’s. Sorry for the confusion, I must have googled the wrong person.

My real mother was born in southern Ontario, and her father was a bit of a rascal (old time word for douchebag), so it was up to my Nan to do the best she could with what she had. I guess he took off to northern Ontario when she was just a baby, and Nan followed him there. Seems he wasn’t the type to be chained down, so Nan bundled Mom up and headed back home. Luckily, Nan met the love of her life when Mom was just little, so they got married, and then Papa adopted my Mom. Not because he had to, but because it was the right thing to do. He told me that he didn’t once not think of her as his own kid, and he loved her like a daughter until the day he died. They broke the mold, the day that guy was born.

Nan was no slouch herself either. She worked her ass off to provide for her and Mom, by waiting tables in restaurants and doing whatever it took to feed her baby. (No, not prostitution, but she was a very pretty lady.) She had two more kids with Papa, and they’re pretty awesome too, but this story is about Mom.

She says she's 5' tall, but I call bullshit

I don’t remember much about our life before the divorce, so I guess there’s not much point in elaborating, but I do remember a lot of it after. I’m not saying that I will remember it correctly, but I’ll try my best. One thing I remember, is when we got the house that she lives in today. It was a two bedroom bungalow, and it was really close to downtown. For those of you who know where it is, you are probably having a chuckle right now. Mom used to do just about everything to put food on the table, including, but not limited to: babysitting, baking bread, knitting and picking dew worms to sell to the Americans that used to vacation there when the dollar was low. We were clothed with mostly hand-me-downs, and we ate a lot of food from the garden. I have tears in my eyes thinking about how hard that must have been for her, alone, broke, and trying to raise three little kids. She worked so hard, and she rarely complained, but I can sure imagine that she wanted too. Mom would always say, that she would have lived in a box, if it meant that she would get to keep us kids.

In the 70's, you could hang children on chair backs for photos

Until, I became a step-dad, I didn’t understand the truth to her words. I’ve seen the look in Mrs. Birdman’s eyes when she talks about her girls, and it’s the same look that my Mom had. If I had to describe it in one word: Fire. It’s kind of like they dare you to try anything with their kids, because they will enjoy tearing you to shreds if you do. I remember one parent teacher interview, that Mom came out of in a fury, because my seventh grade teacher told her to put me out with the trash on garbage day. I tell you, I sure wouldn’t mess with her, not when that fire is dancing behind her pupils anyhow. I guess if I had been a better student, and wasn’t always getting myself in shit, things would have been a lot easier for her. Looking back on the things I could have, or should have done, isn’t going to help anyone, but I feel I owe you a few apologies, so here goes.

I’m sorry for the hours nights years of constant worry; I know now, that kids should not stay out all weekend without even a phone call. I’m sorry for complaining about not having things; I shouldn’t have made you feel bad about not giving us what a few of the other kids had, when looking back, there were far worse off than us. At least we had a warm, loving home, waiting for us. I’m sorry for never applying myself; I was lazy, and had no ambition. You always told me that I could do anything that I put my mind to, and you were right. Unfortunately, I put my mind to drinking and smoking dope, instead of making something of myself and becoming an adult. I’m also sorry for the times I was disrespectful; you loved me more than anyone else ever had, and I took that for granted, instead of giving you the respect that you deserved. There are lots more, but I don’t think they have enough room on the internet for all of it. Yes, I know that dwelling on the past isn’t going to get us anywhere, so I guess that appreciating some of the things that you’ve done for us, might. I know I speak for my sisters as well, when I write this next paragraph.

Mom, thank you for keeping us, for loving us, and for always believing in us, even when we didn’t believe in ourselves. Don’t think for a minute, that we would have ever wanted our lives to be different than they were; you gave us more than money, or things ever could. Thank you for all of the half-assed spankings, and for never following through with a full grounding. Thank you for always being there, when we were depressed, hurt or heartbroken; and for never saying “I told you so”, when things backfired on us. We would also like to thank you for sacrificing your life as you knew it, for three little kids, that must have always seemed so unappreciative, and demanding. Also, thanks for always having time for us, even after babysitting every other kid in the village, and doing all of your other jobs; we know now that you could have used an extra hour of sleep, but you never took it. Thank you for fighting for us, and for always standing up for us. You have a lot of courage packed into that tiny body. There are so many things that I have in my head that I should say to you right now, but I think I might be rambling, so I’ll just say thank you, and tell you that we know we could never repay you for everything, so you can have our undying love as a down payment, and we will negotiate terms for the rest.

Mama tried to raise me better, but her pleading I denied. That leaves only me to blame ’cause Mama tried,

Birdman

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19 thoughts on “I guess it’s time

    • Thanks, Lori. I guess maybe the area we were raised had something to do with it. A lot of great people come from there. 😉

    • Thanks, Sue. I’m sure you can relate, in more ways than one, so give your kids an extra big hug today. You deserve it.

  1. thats awesome Chris, im sure your not the only adult who could look back on their childhood and regret a few things….it seems you dont get to really appreciate it until you experience it yourself…we all could say ” if I only knew then what i know now” and then it would have been a perfect story. As kids we get to make wrong choices and have regrets, but in the end hopefully we turn out to be great adults……which you have Chris!!! Again, I enjoyed reading your blog….makes me think of my own life everytime I read one..love your perspective on things and how you put it into words…thats a gift my friend…

    • Wow, thank you, Krista. I really do appreciate that. I always feel amazement when people enjoy reading something I’ve written. I love doing it, and I’m thankful for people like you, that leave me feedback. So thanks again, and drinks in a couple of weeks, right?

  2. Very, very nice Chris, didn’t know you were so eloquent with words. It sounds like you have an amazing Mom and she raised her kids beautifully. Hope to see you guys over the holidays.

    • Thanks, I didn’t know that either. She is an amazing lady, and I’m pretty lucky to have her. Is this Katrina from my old place of employment?

  3. Wow. That is sooo amazing. I know the fire for I have it with my rug rats. I know the regret for the pain caused in our younger years and the sadness at not being able to fix it. I also know the reflection of appreciation for sacrifices made. Thanks bird man for verbalizing what we feel but can not so eloquently say.

    • Anytime, Mel. You know I am here for you. lol I think every mother has that fire; it’s what makes them tick. Thanks for the comment, young lady.

  4. Chris. I had to wait until I quit crying to write this. Thank You so much for writing that , even if I did cry for 15 minutes. You and your sisters are wonderful people and I am very proud of all of you. Now I get the grandchildren to love and protect too. Thanks to all of you for those precious little tykes. You are a good boy Chris Bird.

  5. What can I say that hasn’t been said already? Everyone, tell your mom that you love her everyday that you can. whether she is still with you or not. Beleive me, moms can hear it. They heard you sneaking out of the house at 13 didn’t they?
    I love you Mom.

  6. Pingback: You Gave Me Life

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