The woman that raised me is one of the matriarchs that everyone
My mother is a big believer in tough love and teaching lessons. She was quick with a slipper and quicker with her hands. She moved so swiftly, you didn’t realize you were given a cocotazo, until you felt your scalp stinging. Needless to say - I got the slipper often. As for her lessons, the older I get, the more I can appreciate what she tried to instill.
We spent most of my teenage years arguing, clashing the way mothers and daughters often do. When I was about sixteen years old, I yelled, “When I have kids, I’ll never bring them to your house.” To which my mother replied, “I want that in writing.” So I wrote down my words on the back of a bank deposit slip, signed and dated as if it were a legal document.
A few years ago, while having dinner at her house – my mother brought out the note to show my husband. We all laughed because my son (who was two at the time) had just spent the night. And now I laugh because every afternoon my mother takes the train from Queens to the Bronx so that she can wait for her grandson to come home from school. She stays until me or my husband come home from work. She sits in on his SEIT therapy sessions, makes dinner, washes dishes - even manages to do laundry. And when I try to pay her - she shoves my hand away.