This was written in response to Writing 101: Size Matters. I managed to vary my sentence length between 8 and 20 words. Hopefully this range is enough to get me the twist for this prompt. 🙂
As a child, I spent more time in Mom’s plant nursery than at the apartment where we slept.
Mom taught me about each of the plants she grew. She would quiz me on the properties of each plant. When I turned twelve, she finally allowed me to help plant the seeds.
Plants were the only thing Mom shared about her childhood. Mom never talked about her parents unless she was also talking about her beloved plants.
While I learned that a love of plants runs in the family, I was never taught my grandparents’ names. I can’t even say if they are still alive or where they might live.
I use to imagine who they were. Sometimes I would pretend that my grandparents were scientists who developed new plants in the middle of the Amazon rainforest. At other times, my grandparents made medicines from the rare and exotic plants in their greenhouses.
Most times, I imagined that my grandparents grew the same plants Mom and I did. As I would water the tender shoots, I would pretend my grandparents were watering their plants alongside me.
I may not have known Mom’s childhood home, but in my imagination it was the same as mine; a warm, wonderful greenhouse.
If I could, I would repay you for everything you have given me. But you have given me so much that I cannot even begin to thank you enough. I know we have this deal where I’ll eventually take care of you when you decide to retire, but that could be ages from now and I’m rather impatient. So, I guess I’ll have to start with this letter. Perhaps I can express in words at least some of the thanks I have.
I suppose I should start with the most important thing. You see, if not for you, I would not be here. You gave me the gift of life. You went through 10 months of pregnancy until I was ready to come into the world. And let’s not forget the pain you went through in labour. I honestly don’t know how you did it. Because I know me and I know I wouldn’t have made it easy on you.
Just for that, I cannot thank you enough. I mean, how can you thank someone who has allowed you to live? What can I do to repay you for that? You have given me a life that I could do anything with. You gave me infinite possibilities by bringing me into this world.
But more than life, you taught me how to live. Correction, you showed me how to live. You lived your life the way you wanted me to live mine. How many parents do I know that tell their kids not to swear when the air is blue from what they say? Or parents who tell their kids not to fight but scream at each other over the smallest thing? You didn’t do that. I always knew that you would do what you expected me to do.
And it worked. Everyone who knows you tells me how much I remind them of you. We have the same values and vivacity. You showed me how to live and you taught me to be strong.
This past year has put me through so many trials. There have been many days where I wanted to give up. Days where I wanted to wave the white flag and surrender to the pain. But, despite it all, I didn’t break because you taught me the strength of bending. If things don’t go my way, I can adapt because you showed me how.
But, of all the things you have taught me, the most important was to tell my stories. I cannot remember a time where I didn’t have stories running through my head. I also cannot remember a time when you weren’t encouraging me to share them. You gave me paper and crayons to scribble out stories that no one could read but me.
You even edited my stories. I know how horrible editing can be and yet you are still willing to slug through every word set before you. I hardly even have to ask because you automatically make notes in the margins of my stories. I cannot tell you how happy I am that my mother doesn’t believe that I write perfect prose in my sleep. Because of this, I am a better writer and I know how to use criticism to my advantage.
And yet, as I write this letter, I know that you won’t read it. Not because you won’t want to read it but because you don’t read my blog. Perhaps you would read my blog if you knew how to use the internet as more than a place to check email and Facebook. Maybe if I sent you the link in an email, you would read this letter and browse the rest of the site.
But I won’t because you already know everything that’s in this letter. I let you know how much I love you before I hang up the phone when we talk. I tell you how much I appreciate the help you so willingly give. I readily ask your advice on everything because I trust you to tell me the truth. And I hug you every chance I get.
Maybe someday you’ll come across my blog and read this letter that I never sent. Maybe, on that day, you’ll have given up trying to throw me in snow banks. Or maybe, I’ll actually send this letter to you. But I wouldn’t hold my breath on that last one if I were you.
Until I talk to you again (later tonight maybe?), I hope you have a wonderful Mothers’ Day. You most definitely deserve it.
My mom has been drinking tea the same way ever since I can remember, orange pekoe with a splash of milk and a teaspoon of sugar. I would always try to steal a sip from her teacup when I was a child. Of course, I never succeeded in drinking my mom’s tea. She always caught me with my hand on her teacup before I got that anticipated taste of tea. Sometimes, if I was lucky, Mom would allow me to have a sip or two; however, she would usually swat my hand away and tell me that tea would stunt my growth.
Now that I’m older, I can make my own cup of tea; however, nothing will replace tea time with my mom. It’s more than just a drink of tea, it’s the place where we would talk about everything that was going on in our lives. We would talk out our frustrations with the world while the tea warmed our hands. We would dream of the impossibilities we would accomplish while pouring our second, or third, cup. With the tea warming our bodies and the company warming our hearts, the bottom of the tea pot always seemed to hold more promise than just the last drop of tea.
It was through Mom’s belief in me and countless cups of tea that I finally gathered up enough courage to post my imperfect writings. And I have a feeling I will be relying on many more cups of tea with my mom before I finally have enough courage to get my writings published.