My weirdest memories. (Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!)

My Mom has four daughters. I’m the second of four. Our household was simply always going a mile a minute, yet- YET- when I was in second grade and decided that I really, really needed my name to be Samantha, she actively attempted to call me Samantha for funsies. At least a handful of times. (The other times she was calling me Kate/Rachel/Emily/some amalgamation of pets’ names.) As a Mom now, that blows my mind; I was requesting that she disregard the name she had bestowed upon me at birth. And she did. (A handful of times.) That’s some next-level Parent The Kid You Have stuff, right there.

She used to let me draw on catalogs, and would pretend to shop with me; as I color-coded and organized imaginary catalog rooms. (So I’m not saying that she’s responsible for the absolute handful that I’ve become, but I’m also not saying that she’s not.)

I slept-walked. A lot. Generally, I ended up in my parents’ bed and, to the best of my knowledge, they were always borderline cool with it. I feel like my Mom was cool with many, many things. This includes times where she had to deal with wrestling a toothpaste cap out of my (sleeping!) mouth, guiding me back to bed from my perch atop the staircase or in front of an open fridge, or that time I sleep-walkingly woke her by staring directly into her face for what I’m sure felt like entirely too long.

Once, after a nightmare, I ran into my parents’ room and jumped into their bed. Unfortunately, I had stepped (with both feet!) int0 our new dog’s new pile of poop on their bedroom floor.

keely mom mother's day

“Future Me is so sorry.” “I know.”

I developed a severe latex allergy at age 10 and, let me tell you, few things are more intimidating than the both-barrel-business she gave to any unfortunate soul who didn’t believe in such allergic reactions. Sometimes, if it’s really necessary, I give myself a pep talk inspired by her great Come To Jesus Talk With the Orthodontist, Circa 1992. (“What are you trying to do? What are you trying to do? Do you see this face? Look at this kid’s swollen face and tell me YOU DON’T BELIEVE IN LATEX ALLERGIES.”)

When I was 13, she played Elton John’s “Goodbye, Yellow Brick Road” for me in its entirety on a road trip. (Slow. Clap.)

She wanted me to become a teacher. But, the day she dropped me off at college- where I planned to study nothing except theatre feelings– she told me that I’d found a really great, really creative place. Even when a wooden sword fight broke out on the quad between two heavily cloaked undergrads, she kept that bright smile on her face and insinuated that creative choices were everywhere we looked. CHOOSE CAREFULLY, KEELY, her eyes implored me. CLOAKS ARE A CHOICE.

And sure, it’s not all weird memories. She was the first to hold my babies and is the last to shut her phone off at night. (Hahahahaha I’m kidding: she doesn’t power that sucker down for you, me, heaven, hell, or Verizon.)

But the weird moments are some of my absolute favorites.

And now that I’m a Mom and creating my own weird narrative with my children, I‘m fairly excited to see what they come away with as “formative memories of a mother’s love”. I’m hoping it’ll include at least one of the times I showered bodily fluids off of them in the wee hours of the morning, but let’s be honest: it’ll be how I always fell asleep in their beds while they played. (Um, you know what? That’s called QUALITY TIME.)

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. Here’s a bourbon (and splash of water) toasted in your honor.

You’ve totally earned it. 



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