I feel my mother. When I press my lips against my son’s forehead and keep them there for an extra second. All of a sudden, my lips are her lips, against my forehead, and that intense mother-child bond is reignited within me.
I hear my mother. When my son does something so surprising and funny that I burst out in joyful laughter. I delight in him and tell him so. For a moment, I am my mother, delighting in me.
I see my mother. When I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror, skin tanned from the summer sun, hair curly from the humidity. Frazzled at the end of the day, but still pretty. I imagine what it was like to be her, 30 years ago, after a long day of taking care of my siblings and me.
I sense my mother. When we walk into our children’s room and our 3 year old is standing on his dresser in front of a fully opened (second story) window. It is her mothering instinct that has drawn me in here at just the right moment and her presence, I believe, holding him back from taking one more step. Thank you thank you thank you.
These moments are fleeting, now, 14 years later. She is not part of my every hour or even every day. But the times when she comes back to me, I savor it. I remember how I was truly cherished, and I’m comforted that that feeling never fades.
My mother’s greatest legacy is this: her grandchildren will never, ever question how much they are loved, because that’s how she taught us – by example – to parent.