This is not about Lost.
When I was young[er], I was pretty insecure. That is, I always imagined people didn’t like me unless they showed me expressly and specifically that they did. I remember sleeping over at a friend’s place and being tucked in by her babysitter who gave her a kiss but just said good night to me. See? I remember thinking. She clearly likes my friend better than she likes me, if she even likes me at all. You may be thinking, as I do in my present life, that of course a woman who takes care of a child every day is going to be fonder of that child than she is of some random kid off the street. And there lies the rub.
Once, in her later life, my mother related a conversation she’d had with my great-aunt who was in her 90′s (and is still alive at 103!). My great-aunt had chided my mother because she wasn’t wearing a sweater when it was already getting chilly out. My mother, who had lost her own mother in 1991, thought this was a great thing. She told me, “I forgot what that sort of worry feels like. Because no one loves you like your mother.” After I hung up from this conversation, I started to cry at the insensitivity of my mother to tell me this when she was already dying, as if to say, “and when I’m gone, no one will ever love you like this again.”
But this is not one of those, “I don’t have a mother on Mothers Day” type posts. In fact, even when I was growing up, I had someone who I referred to as “my other mother” and I will see her today. She was a good friend of my mother’s, and a colleague as well. Her daughter was my best friend through grade school (we went to different high schools) and is my good friend even now. I spent so much time at their house that it felt like my house, only larger and neater and better decorated. I’ve lost track of all the ways my friend’s Mom made me feel like her own child but I never doubted for one moment that she loved me too.
Nowadays, she lives on the Upper East Side, and this week she took advantage of my delivery zone for Cinnamon Girl, that is, within 20 blocks of me on the Upper West Side… and Other Mom. So I’ll be bringing over some treats this morning for her Mothers Day celebration (her Mom is visiting as well). She asked me to stay on but I usually make plans for Mothers Day so I can be distracted. But it was a lovely gesture.
I find myself looking for Other Moms all around and I tend to find them. Someone in my last job was one and then there was Tami offering motherly advice last week. It’s that sense of, “I’m looking out for you! I worry about you!” that is hard to come by but can sometimes be found, if you have good people in your life. No one loves you like your mother, but lots of times, the rest of the world is prepared to step in when they can. And I thank all of those people today.