Sitting in LAX last night, sipping a mocha frapp between planes, and taking a moment to catch my breath, I read a blog comment from my mother, and an email from her as well. I miss her already. The bond between mothers and daughters is an interesting one, rather like an elastic band. You stretch it thin, then let it snap back to its resting state, but you are always tethered, even when the connection is so thin you think it might break.
My mother and I have been through every stage: hero worship, worst enemy, best friend, close confidante, distant acquaintance, but always there is that connection. Where my mother is, is home, even if I didn’t grow up there. She has the knack of taking two pieces of fabric, pinning them to a wall and making a blank space into something warm and comfortable. We both have short tempers, and we sometimes don’t communicate well, but neither do we tend to hold grudges, and we eventually snap back into our own resting state of shared references and long memories, and similar, but not identical tastes and opinions. She shaped my perception of the world, of course, as do all parents, but she gave me the freedom to mold the window I look through to my own liking.
With my stepfather, it’s different. We don’t have that blood bond. We don’t have that instant connection. We had to forge our relationship in fire and ice, and it didn’t come easily. He wasn’t accustomed to children who fight back, who fight at ALL, and I didn’t trust him to stay. Our resting state is at a different vibration than that of my relationship with my mother. With Ira, it’s witty banter and affectionate teasing, and an evolution of language. He challenges me. I like to be challenged. It’s good.
They say that women marry their fathers. On the surface, my sweet geeky husband who looks like Steven Spielberg right now because his beard is trimmed short, and he has color on his cheeks, and has been wearing a baseball cap all week, is nothing like my stepfather. But then there are ways in which they are eerily alike: neither can complete a task without getting lost in minutia. My mother and I draw the world in broad strokes full of color and light, the men in our lives use finely-honed pencils and are detail oriented, not at all impressionistic. Both are inclined to curl up in corners with books or blankets rather than be outwardly social, but are delightful companions when in the mood.
I am writing from bed. My own bed. My normal weekend morning resting state: one husband, curled up with his face turned away from the light seeping in from the gaps between the blinds, two dogs, exhausted from their early morning welcoming of their people, many pillows, one laptop, total contentment.
I am rested.
I am home.
I have found my resting state.