|Baby Badger and Mom, 1970s. |
Last known photo in which I am shorter than she is (heh)
She just had a birthday, and I need to praise her like I should.
My Little Mamacita--not at all an Arabic name for Mother, but my best friend once called her that and it stuck--is a huge-hearted, highly talented woman who still has showgirl legs but is too modest to show them off. Working as a team, she and my US-born father sponsored her Lebanese and Syrian family through the 70s and 80s, helping my aunts and cousins to become American citizens by turning our home into "Hotel Monier."
Because of her:
I don't know how to make a meal for 4 that won't also feed 8;
I despise the stillness of an empty house;
I teach and learn, collect and share stories;
I speak French with a decent accent (I don't know Arabic because I'm a stubborn fool);
I know that (despite the cool new names) making, repairing, and upcycling was a way of life, not a trend.
Her legacy is immense, but if I continue, I'm going to get all gooey.
|If you want a funny story about her skills and tolerance and the night I wore |
her homemade cape to a school dance and club with a broken arm,
listen to the whole shebang--and see the cape!--here.
As I've been crafting my way through this icy, housebound winter, I had another sweet revelation about Mom's impact on me. During my elementary school years, she frequently volunteered to repair the school library's books. I was by turns bored and fascinated by the process: paste, stick, smooth, fold, tuck, smooth, trim, smooth again. Her hand guided mine over a few sticky passes, and I asked her, "Was this your job before?" Before us, of course.
"No," she chuckled in that accent that everyone else could hear but that I could only smell like her warm skin and rose water. "But I learn what I need to know."
Sometimes, I picked up the books as she finished them, swearing to come back when they were dry to check them out.
That's how I became the only person in the history of the school to check out D'Aulaire's Book of Greek Myths for four years running. I bought it for my Badgerettes, too--cuts down on late book fees.
These past weeks, surrounded by old magazines and comics, I dug out a bunch of composition books I bought on clearance from Aaron Brothers back in the early 2000s and started pasting, folding, smoothing, tucking, and smoothing some more.
Since Mod Podge alone might not be the best for this project (but it will keep those coffee drips from staining!) I also bought renowned Yes! Glue and some bookbinder's PVA glue, too. Now, Littlest Sweat Shop (aka, the living room) smells just like the school library. I've been making books and book covers out of some amazing things...some of which are likely to make you ask again, "But, why?"
Boxes for actual 8mm home movies.
Bizarre vintage Wonder Woman comic covers and 1970s Boxing Illustrated ads.
My new favorites are 1950s teen romance comics and Sci Fi magazine covers.
|Mother Knew Best. So frustratingly, delightfully, lovingly true.|
Happy birthday, Mom! I love you.
Copyright 2015, Tanya Monier