Dear Mom…

Captain’s hat! Was I pre-destined for this lifestyle?

Dear Mom,

I braided my hair today. Do you know what that made me think of? The waterfall of tears on the nights when you’d brush the mess out at the end of a braidless day. Remember how much I cried? How did you ever put up with all that crying?

Oh yeah, the tear jars! To this day I still smile when I think of how you decided to collect my tears with old pill jars for the day when I’d run out. Of course, I cried so much – I would eventually have to run dry…

Then I’d be a wet mess of crying and giggling with you squeezing the jars against my cheeks. “Hold still, I need to catch these tears for you!” I wonder if we found those jars today, would they still hold my tears or would they be dried up with nothing but salty remains?

How about the times when you couldn’t put up with all my laughing/crying? “Go play in traffic!” or “Why don’t you go see in traffic if I’m there!” Only to come home from night school at McGill to hear I’d been hit by a car in the city’s busiest intersection. Oopsie right? Or the time you caught me flashing my behind at oncoming traffic. Double oopsie right? You never thought I’d be obedient to a t and do as you say: go play in traffic. The stuff I put your through… *shudder*

Looking at me though, sitting in that high chair, crying and screaming because my hair was all in knots: what did you think? Being a ER nurse and dealing with life/death issues daily and me crying bloody murder over having you brush my hair? What did you think of me?

You being such a strong and capable woman. Such strength and determination – there was nothing you couldn’t do or accomplish. Have you ever wondered “How could this scrawny frightened little thing come out of me?” All you had to do was say BOO in my face and off scampering I would go like a beaten step-child.

I was scared of my own shadow. Scared of bothering people, scared of getting hurt, scared of being forgotten, scared of never being good enough. Just a little scaredy cat. Your total opposite. Maybe that’s why I reminded you so much of dad? That was probably the one thing you disliked most in him – his fears.

I am so sorry I made you feel abandoned when I left. I never meant to hurt you. Do you know that the day you let me go was the day you gave me the greatest gift a mother could ever give her child? I will forever be grateful to you for that day. It is what finally gave me strength. By allowing me to leave, you gave me what I needed to become more like you. A strong independent woman. OK. Maybe not the woman part since I will forever be a girl. But a strong fearless chick with total can-do attitude. THAT mother, comes from YOU. I love you more than chocolate, more than the endless’ness of the seas, and more than laughing til I wet my pants.

And I am thinking of this right now all because I braided my hair today…

Your youngest,

Marie, je t’aime xo

p.s. Know that at least tonight I can go to bed without crying – because I won’t have a mess to brush out before going to bed.
p.p.s. Of course you also know this because – duh – I never brush my hair before going to bed!


30 thoughts on “Dear Mom…”

    1. You’re such a wise mother.
      p.s. I don’t think I ended up playing in traffic because she incited me so much to do so, but then again – who knows? ツ Oh and I need to email you, you’ve inspired me to do something wonderful and I can’t wait to tell you about it (hopefully something good will come of it, we’ll see)


  1. Wow, this is the purest sweetness in words! I hope your mother can read this and I hope she tells you what an amazing daughter you are. My greatest hope is that I can someday get a letter like this from my princess. I’m trying hard…


    1. A clogged drain rusting from the inside out: I highly HIGHLY doubt that is true of you! I see you as the kind who laughs at everything – and that is just as releasing as crying.
      p.s. I don’t cry as much as I did back then, I finally got that under control!


  2. That was a great letter and such a great memory. When my girls cried, I get a camera or my cell phone and start moving around them, taking pictures saying, “beautiful dahling, now give me pouty, more tears…” . The photos start out tearful and usually end with watery, snot-filled giggles…my favorite.


  3. First up I have to say I loved this tribute to your mother, secondly I remember my mum telling me to go and play in the traffic as a child and yes I use to tell my girls to go play in the traffic…… thirdly I remember when my girls where little if the cried and carried on to much while I was brushing thier long hair I would say if you don’t sit still and behave I will go and have your hair cut short and we won’t have this problem……………….this the girls thought I was not serious about until one of them called my bluff and what did I do I went and got her hair cut into a short bob………..never again did she call my bluff…………


    1. I really don’t know how I would have reacted to a threat of cutting my hair. I’m willing to bet I’d be all for it since I was convinced that I was a boy (I was a biology whiz obviously)


  4. I have very fine hair and I would cried when my mum brushed it. I guess that is why I keep it short these days.
    This was so beautiful and I think any parent can only hope that their child might one day stop and think so lovingly about moments growing up.
    I certainly hope I am giving my boys good memories


  5. I am all non-jewish farklempt! That was very sweet. I make sure to ONLY brush Munchkin’s hair when it’s necessary. Other times, she’s responsible for doing it. Mostly because I hate hearing her scream.


    1. There are days when I wish my mom was around me to brush my hair. If I forget to tie it up when we go sailing I come back with a rat’s nest. I need my mommy. Do they still make that spray for untangling hair (wasn’t it called No More Tears?)


      1. They do!! My daughter has detangler (not the no more tears kind… that’s the shampoo and I can’t remember if they had a spray or not) and she also has some sort of OTHER detangling spray. I think one is for when it’s wet, right after a shower, and one is for when it’s dry and you go to brush it? I don’t really know because my hair is super thick and super strong… hers is really thin and fine. Basically, I buy her the crap that I think will help and she, in her infinite tiny wisdom, figures out how to use it and has for a few years now (keep in mind she’s only 8)


  6. hum the job is never finished I suppose, like a great monument that suffers the winds of time, the polishing takes a really long time. There are always spots unreached by the wind and the sun, where hair never tangles , (must be in a wild dream.)unless it is in the ocean??? Fascination by the sea which one can never trust because one never really knows how high ot brusque that wave can be, One also never really knows the impact one has on other close, on a rebellious daughter, with a big smile and an even bigger heart. Never let others bring you down they are only trying to take you to their level which obviously is not your strong independent level, but to the level of a mouse which you are not. Enjoy life every day, and remember in all that happens there is a mother (me) who misses you. Love, maman


  7. words are always free, maybe that’s why there are so many words to describe events, happenings, great experiences, bad ones. and some words are intersting because when you hear them you wonder what is that? Some acquaintane of mine constantly refers to the penultimate Thursday, at first I thought I had heard wrong, but no I didn’t. He told me what the word means, so now I use it frequently and people look at me as if I had invented a new word. ha ha. I enjoy seeing the double takes about the penultimate word. Just a weird thought for the morning.


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