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A Girl Just Like the Girl

This is a small love letter to the woman I woke up with this Mother’s Day morning. She’d been groaning, sneezing and muttering semi-coherently for a couple of achy days, but today she just feels a little crappy. Her 12-year-old son was a little off this morning, too, after a late-night binge of Marvel comic heroes, and managed to soil his hand-crafted M-D artwork with a surly Well, I gave you a card, didn’t I? His father, disgruntled at the attitude, had to nonetheless admit that he hadn’t come up with even the card. It’s all that my girl really wants on this (and her birth) day.

I knew when I married her that she was eager to be a mother, but I hadn’t known how good she’d be at it. She’s a woman of quicksilver emotions, a ResultsMaker, and when we finally decided it was time to face the reality of my single-dad situation, her first meeting with my three sons was a sit-com disaster without the laugh-track. (Well, I did chuckle ruefully, resignedly, when I thought, after months of sweet, scary and resuscitating courtship, Well, this just isn’t going to work at ALL.) It did work out, though, finally, and her exasperation, sometimes worn on her sleeve (or as a flaming Easter bonnet), never lasts long. After an anxious few years of game and loverly trying, we finally scored a biological Bingo! and Son Four made his dramatic, long-legged entrance.

My bride, the Impatientor, stunned me by being a serene, contented companion for her own little bundle of boy. As he has grown, as he walks ever more proudly erect in expectation of the day when he surpasses his mother’s height, she has always been his steadfast supporter, even when he drives her nuts, as is pretty much a weekly drama. She loves that boy with eager, reckless abandon. She is an angel who rushes to love where fools would fear to tread; she’ll get stung by it, over and over, and yet she never stops making honey in that buzzing little nest we call home.

Of course I always think of my own mother, six years gone now. Most of us remember her as the gently beaming matriarch of overflowing family dinners, gazing with rapture on her brood and all those grandchildren. But she was a fiery one, too, someone who wanted to get things done, and did, and somehow survived five children (including me) with dignity and nerves (semi)intact. Today, an old song from my mother’s youth is playing in my head: I want a girl just like the girl / Who married dear old dad! And more than I ever thought likely, in more than a few respects, I got what I never realized I was looking for: a woman eager to love, easy to laugh, and as loyal as the longest days are long, someone like my Mum.

Thanks, Diana, and happy Mother’s Day. You’re a beauty. (And happy thoughts of you, too, mother dear.)

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