blogging, enjoying family, Exercise, Having fun, memories, Mother's Day, Motherless Daughters, Writing

A Lap for Mom

Photo courtesy of Orgullomoore, via Wikimedia Commons.
Photo courtesy of Orgullomoore, via Wikimedia Commons.

My mother was the first great presence in my life. Not just in stature did she overwhelm me, as she towered past my 5′ 3″ frame at nearly 6 feet of height.  She was larger than life in her bubbly personality, quick wit, and ready laugh. She exuded capability, leadership, and governance all laced with kindness, temperance, and fierce love for my brother and me.

Mom had a deep interest in all things health related and was fanatical about making sure my brother and I ate clean, nutritious foods from both from our garden and local sources.  She was convinced, well before her time, that food additives would be the downfall of modern civilization.

She was equally insistent about the benefits of daily exercise. Back in 70s and 80s, before we owned awesome video games, laptops, and iPhones, exercise wasn’t an issue for my brother or me.  We spent the majority of our free time running around like crazed banshees in our safe neighborhood.  However, with Mom’s busy work schedule, plus, added homemaking, volunteering, and parenting the two of us, finding the time to exercise wasn’t always easy.  In the winter months she’d walk or jog, often after dark, but when summer rolled around, she’d excitedly don her swimsuit and do lap after lap each evening in our neighborhood pool.

I have so many memories of her long arms and legs gliding effortlessly through the water as if it were the only place that she was meant to be graceful. Her strokes were impeccable and I’d attempt to imitate her swift butterfly, or crawl, with the best grandeur my stubby arms and legs could muster.  Sometimes we’d tread water in the deep end and chat until dusk greeted us and the fireflies waited to light our path back home. The smell of chlorine and honeysuckle bushes, the shiver of the evening breeze against my damp skin, and the cackling of my mother’s laughter are all so distant now.  Some things can never be recreated, but life can still be good, and full, and beautiful.

Today, my daughter and I drove to the pool in the warm daylight.  We plunged, without fear of the chill, into the cool, deep end.  Our arms and legs cut through the water with the grace of the moment; swiftly, tirelessly, back and forth. Treading water, in the deep end we chatted, we laughed, we celebrated  weightlessness, levity and being together.

I felt a quiet familiarity there in the smell of chlorine, in the cool comfort of the lapping water that enveloped us, and the sound of my own ready laughter–so similar to hers.  So long ago, I was a daughter swimming and chatting contentedly with my mother.  Today, I am the mother honoring the memories  I’ve had, and cherishing the ones that I’m making.

What’s your best “Mom” memory?  How did you celebrate, or help someone celebrate Mother’s Day today?

Happiest of Mother’s Day to Moms, Stepmoms, and special women everywhere who have positively influenced the children in your lives! ❤



26 thoughts on “A Lap for Mom”

  1. I so wish I had gotten to meet her…and you have written such a lovely tribute to her! I can say the words that mean more than any other words: “Your mom would be proud of you.”

    Happy Mother’s Day, my angel.

    1. Aw, thank you, sweetie! I know she would have loved you. I like to think that she would be pretty darned proud of me. I try to live the right way and we’ve raised some really good kids that she’d be immensely proud of, too! I love you!

    1. Aw, thank you Jenny! My youngest daughter and I had a wonderful day. I think my mom would be pretty proud of our spending Mother’s Day doing one of her very favorite things. 🙂 I hope you have a lovely day! 🙂

  2. Gorgeous post! I spoke to my mum in Australia via Skype yesterday… not the most poetic of Mother’s Days, but lovely none the less 🙂 This post was a lovely tribute to your mother. Happy Mother’s Day to you x

    1. Thank you so much! I’m sure your mom was very appreciative of your Skype–I know that’s how my daughter and I communicated during holidays when she wasn’t able to make it home from school. Thank you again for your kind words. 🙂

  3. I loved reading your post today. It was a bittersweet, beautiful tribute to wonderful memories. Sharing things with your children that you shared with your mom, creating memories that she’ll carry with her is priceless. I hope that you had a magical day.

    1. Thanks, Rob, I really did have a great day–and weekend! My stepson came for a visit on Friday and Saturday, which was really nice. Thank you again for your kind words and I hope your weekend was equally magical! 🙂

  4. This is a great post. I love how you recreated your memories in writing for us, I felt like I was there too. And how you recreated your memories for your daughter and yourself. A very special way to celebrate your mother.

  5. ” Treading water, in the deep end we chatted, we laughed, we celebrated weightlessness, levity and being together.” Such a lovely sentence, my friend! We didn’t do much of anything special yesterday but take it easy, which was wonderful. A belated happy Mother’s Day to you, my friend.

    Hugs from Ecuador,

    1. Thank you for your kind words. 🙂 Taking it easy is a great way to spend your day! I’m trying to do that now for a few minutes before everyone gets home! Have a great rest of the week! 🙂

  6. So much wisdom and beauty in this post. I love the line ‘Some things can never be recreated, but life can still be good, and full, and beautiful.’ Hats off to you and your daughter for embracing the cold of the deep end of the pool without flinching!! I normally creep up on the water…. toe by toe!

    Great to hear the swimming was fun. I wish I lived near a natural body of water, a pond would do, because I think it inspired you more to go swimming. (That’s my excuse!!).

    Cheers to you and your success. I’m having a dabble with a new brand of liquorice tea. Raising my mug to you!

    1. Thank you so much, Lita! I’ve always loved swimming, and will jump in no matter how cold it might be (within reason!) It’s the one exercise that I never need inspiration to do. (Abdominal exercises are another matter!)
      How’s the tea? I’m not a huge licorice fan, so I’m not sure whether I’d like it, or not. I had three enormous (20oz) cups of Tazo Zen tea this afternoon–I think I might have a tea addiction! Hope you’re doing well! 🙂

      1. Ah Tazo Zen!!!! I didn’t know tazo did this… I have loved Tazo mint! Thank you for another gem to look out for.

        All is good.

        Yes crunches for the tummy are not the most fun! I have tried all sorts of machines that you sit on and they supposedly do the hard work but I’m not convinced. I like rebounding but it’s hard to get a decent one that doesn’t move along the floor – they tend to be not that expensive I find so they are not sturdy.

        here’s to lots of Tazo! Cheers! Lita 😉

  7. Appropriate to stumble upon this post (and your blog, while exploring Kathy’s blogroll) right before going swimming with my daughter 🙂 Wonderfully evocative….I could almost smell the chlorine and honeysuckle and the warmth of summer!

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