By, Wendiann Alfieri
When I think of celebrating mothers day, I think of how I was taught to be straightforward. Not everyone is. Parents have to be open with their kids and never hide anything from them. Many parents hide things from their kids, then they reach a breaking point and end up on the Dr. Phil show, for the rest of the world to question and criticize.
My family never has had this issue.
Whatever you want to hear is not always what you need to hear.
“Honesty is the best policy”
I grew up knowing no other way.
I still don’t know another way, and from that, I draw wisdom, not ignorance.
I shouldn’t need to know the way of lies and deceit that many families fall victim to.
My mom and I are very honest with everyone, especially each other. Whether we have something difficult to say, whether it’s something minute, we always tell it like it is.
I am awed at my mother’s gusto, she doesn't say anything that she wouldn't say to your face.
That has created awkward situations, but I'd rather slightly uncomfortable than gossip-y facades.
This attitude of facing reality is one I don’t need to admire her for, because I inherited it.
It’s already in my blood to expect anything and everything life throws my way, and I owe that to my childhood.
My family always has the most bizarre things happen. My boyfriend jokes about our luck being cursed because our ancestors pissed off a witch and now we deal with random shit all the time.
I know it's a joke, but it's an accurate joke.
What I've been through and how I got and/or get through it continues to make me who I am
It always will.
Because Hiding under a blanket of deception to keep warm when you can just stand up and sit by the fire confuses me.
If you can’t take the heat, your food is always going to be cold, raw, and gross.
This brings me to a story I always think of when I think of my mom.
We have a running joke that was based on the bold-face way we speak.
Here is that story.
When I was around fourteen, my mom was in the kitchen making breakfast. She hadn’t been home the night before, and it was barely 5 am on a Saturday and she was cooking eggs. She didn’t answer my calls or anything the previous night.
She hadn’t yet told me what was going on.
I knew she would if I asked. I counted on it.
When I found her cooking, she looked exhausted.
I began to share my worries.
“Mom, where were you last night?”
My mom was clearly groggy. I was surprised that she was cooking eggs and not snoring asleep on the floor. The circle under her eyes was a testament to that.
She looked up, and said bluntly:
“Grandpa had a heart attack”
(she blinked, then…)
“Do you want eggs?”
No explanation, just the sizzling of the pan desperately needing my mom's focus
I was so stunned I couldn’t speak.
“Is he..is he ok?”
“Yeah he’s in the hospital but he will be fine.)
(blinked again, turning back to the eggs she didn’t want to burn
“Scrambled or omelet?”
“Omelette” I answered.
I was then hit with a surprising feeling.
I said omelet first because I was hungry and wanted eggs as much as answers.
As I said, we don’t fake shit.
I was worried but I was hungry.
“Can you add cheese?” I requested.
The situation was serious, but it was just such a blatant response from both of us that I had to laugh once I clarified I, indeed, wanted eggs.
“Mom, Grandpa had a HEART ATTACK. Why should I care about eggs?”
She stopped for a minute and looked at me
“Because they are the organic kind”
I clearly wasn’t getting a detailed explanation right then.
Then my mom made us omelets and we ate together.
My grandpa was fine, thank God. If he wasn’t my mom wouldn’t have been making eggs.
Now, whenever my mom or I are delivering a sort of shocking, bizarre but not tragically ending news and/or information, we tell each other after saying whatever we needed to “Want eggs?”
It’s a running joke between us, and it actually has become a way of reassurance.
A pressure valve releases, and we are on the same page.
It's become a way of communicating.
We say "want eggs?" as much as "I love you"
Both are realities.
When we use those words, it’s a little more than just a shoulder shrug.
It’s our personal equivalent of the phrase “It is what it is”
There will always be bad news. But with each bad situation, you just gotta roll with the punches.
Sometimes, after a grueling circumstance, you just need to have your disaster served with a freshly made cheese omelet on the side.
I mean, honestly, the organic kind, you can’t really taste the difference, but my friends at the time were on an all-natural kick so I made mom get fresh brown eggs. We didn’t have chickens, I think when you have really fresh eggs that there is a difference. My uncle had chickens. When I used to visit him we would tend to his garden and we would have fresh eggs for breakfast.