This is my first chance today to post this, but I had been planning for months, since I wrote it in my writing class (about a place that we’re nostalgic about), to put this up on Mother’s Day.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. You’re the Best Mom ever.
There is nothing like my mom’s house.
I’m thirty-three years old. When I’m sick, I still just want my mom. Why is this?
There is something about her house. There’s something about the way that her laundry smells. Even though I buy the same laundry soap, it smells fresher and cleaner at her house. It’s not just lavender, or fresh breeze; it’s somehow magically always the same smell regardless of what kind of detergent she buys. It’s the smell of her, like summer, and childhood, and comfort and softness and sweetness all rolled into one. The sheets are better. They’re softer. They feel like a feather brushing your cheek. How is it that my mom magically gets softer laundry than the rest of us? Is it that she really uses vintage sheets on her bed, that have been washed so many times, and the pillow cases (pronounced “pill-uh” in this household, the way Okies have said it for generations; every time I hear her say it I can see the old tintype photo of my great grandmother) touched by so many cheeks, from wrinkled, to fresh and new-born still needing fluffing, or is it that she buys a high thread count and they would be soft on anyone’s bed?
The TV is strangely better at mom’s house. The remote control is a magic wand, a transporter into a different world. There are better movies at mom’s house. How is this possible when I have the same cable package that she does?
Is it her generosity? Is it that she will go to the store and get you anything you will eat or drink when you’re sick? She offers sprite. When you’re sick, that’s what you drink. It’s always better with a straw, and the bendy kind is even better. At mom’s house there’s always a bendy straw, just like there were when you were little. It makes drinking at the bedside easier, but it also brings comfort in the nostalgia. Plus, somehow everything tastes better with ice and a straw, the chinking in the glass like a time machine back to days when mom could make everything better.
Is it the way that she touches your forehead? The way that she intuitively knows whether or not you have a fever, like she has a built in thermometer in her fingertips? Is it her offer of a cool, wet washcloth for your forehead? On a fevered brow, the washcloth, wet simply from the bathroom tap, feels icy, like the only exposed area on a blustery winter day when you’re all bundled up and only your eyes are uncovered.
I think maybe it’s not mom’s house at all, but the love felt there. The fact that she loved us so well then, that she loves us so well now. What is it about mom’s house that’s so amazing? Well, clearly it’s that mom is there.