I bet you remember these from your childhood. These great illustrated little books with the fun gold binding. These books that told fairy tales, helped us learn our alphabet and numbers, colors and shapes. These little books that had an entire collection about bible stories and church. These little books that I loved as a child, so much that I found them in boxed sets for my children.
I grew up with them, my children did too. As I have stated before I do not buy gifts these days. I have never as an adult bought presents for my mom, or at least not many. My mom tried to guilt me in claiming that I ruined Christmas for her, when the reality was she drove me away. That is probably my mother’s worst fault, never accepting responsibility for her emotional state. She has a horrible habit of pushing blame on everyone else for her sadness.
My mother has finally accepted that I do not want gifts for Christmas, I hope my partner’s parents understand that as well. This year for the first time in years I had a couple of gifts to unwrap for the holiday. I am glad they were small gifts and not extravagant items. I am simplistic and try to keep my life that way.
My mother has spent Christmas with my sister for the past decade. I do not mind, we lived in a City my mother hates to drive to. This year I saw something that I could not pass up for my mother. Actually I found two similar items and my mother’s birthday is today, so I got her a gift for both Christmas and her birthday. I called her last night to see if she understood the gift. She said she was so excited to open it. She and my sister sat down and looked through it and talked about all the memories it brought back. What was it, you ask? It was a compilation “Little Golden Book”. “Everything I need to know about Christmas, I learned from Little Golden Books”, was apparently the best present ever. My mother also grew up on Little Golden Books, and the illustrations brought back many memories for her and my sister. I am sad that she did not open the second one that night as well. The second one is “Everything I need to know, I learned from Little Golden Books.”
She loved the first one, she will love the second one, she just won’t have my sister there to share it with. It was actually a thought in my head when I saw the books at Barnes and Noble a couple of weeks ago. I saw them and thought immediately of my mom and then of my children. I got home and surprisingly was remorseful for not buying them for my mom. I immediately went online and found them at half the price on Amazon, and they deliver. I really wish I could have put an inscription inside the covers for her, I hope she at least keeps the cards inside of them. My mom and I do not have much of a relationship, but she is my mom and I do love her. For all the times she has made me feel like a lesser person, for questioning my motives and my decisions, I still love her. For the times she made me feel like she hated me and favored my sister, I still love her. For the years of emotional torment that was partially real and partially put forth in my own mind, I still love her. For all the times she told me things, that no daughter should ever know about her parents, I still love her, I hate her for that as well, it is a slippery slope on that one.
In the end, no matter what relationship you have with your mom, she is and always will be your mom. Sometimes it helps to move far away. To only have letters and phone conversations makes the sharp edges of rejection much less painful. Keeping my distance makes the good memories so much better. And that is the best gift I can ever receive.