Let’s talk about Cate.
Who is Cate you may be asking?
Well. She was first a daughter. A wife. And then a mother. A wonderfully loved mother.
The carried me around for nine months then pushed me out kind of mom. Changed my diaper, made me smile, kissed my check a billion times throughout my first years kind of mom. Loved me unconditionally kind of mom. Heard my first word, saw my first steps, watched me grow into who I am at this very moment that I’m writing this to her kind of mom. The kind that makes you grilled cheese cut into triangles when you’re hungry and sits next to you all day and night when you have the stomach flu. The kind who magically knows everything about everything. To the point where it’s so annoying and you just give up arguing with her cause you know she will always win.
To me my mom (& dad) was a super hero. Always there. Like living secret lives and then flying to my rescue whenever I needed them. From the moment I was born I just had these two middle aged humans by my side every step of the way. And when you’re a kid, that’s how you always see your parents. Like that’s how they’ve always been to you. And even when we slowly start to figure out the circle of life, the idea of our parents as teenagers was too weird a thought to even think about that we had to push it way way way in the deep dark depths of our minds. Like the only way our parents could ever be young is if they took off with Peter Pan to Neverland.
But with each passing year, I am becoming more and more aware of this prior life of theirs. It was nothing that four year old me ever thought about. I had more pressing issues to deal with like the whole learning how to walk thing and who was going to play House with me that afternoon. But twenty year old me has been doing some different thinking.
With so many major changes happening in my life, I’ve been way more nostalgic than ever. It feels like everything is changing so fast right now that I’m just trying to hold on to those memories that seemed like forever ago. Which leads to me crying about how simple life used to be. And then proceeds to me playing “Stressed Out” on the way home from school angry at everything and the world. I’m at that point where I have one foot in the water and one foot out..if that’s even a saying. If not I just made it up. I’m curious and excited for everything to come but I’ve also never been more scared and uneasy about the future. Mom doesn’t have as tight a leash on me like before but I still depend on her 110% of the time. Even if she doesn’t think so. This is where my thinking has gotten me. Thinking about the real relationships in my life and how important they are to me.
But duh since it’s May 14th, I say we focus in on the Mother Daughter relationship.
So remember, I’ve been super nostalgic and emotionally lately. Even though I’ve always been like that probably. My long time friend was just talking to me saying how in 5th grade I was known as the emotional one who would cry at everything. So I obviously haven’t changed that much. And now my emotions were leading me to the good ole Home Videos.
Home Videos are my thing. I LOVE THEM. Watching yourself as a cute little baby on old film. What could be better?? Nothing. Maybe a puppy dressed in a yellow raincoat. But other than that NOTHING. The worst part was that I was convinced we lost the home videos for like ten years. But on this particular day I had my sights set on finding them. I was gonna go all out Detective Sherlock on them. They ended up being in a box in our prayer room in plain sight. Whatever. I found them and that was the point. I immediately started going through all the tapes, reading the labels, organizing the dates. And then disaster struck again. Turns out when ten years go by, we decide to get rid of our VCR for some unknown reason that I will never ever understand ever. But my dad is lucky that his brother has some sense and kept his.
Exchange a few text messages and BAM, I have a VCR back in my hands. Then visualize me sprinting to the television, reading (skimming) the manual, plugging a bunch of wires places, freaking out cause we might not have the right wires, thanking my father for having extra wires laying around, grabbing the first tape in sight and pressing play.
My sisters baby face pops up on the screen. Followed by my dads voice calling her name while she looks back and smiles the biggest cutest smile ever.
Like some Grinch falling to the ground cause his heart grew three times the size kind of heart exploding.
After ten years I was finally watching the sweet memories I was so longing to hang on to so desperately. The next few days consisted of our family watching video after video. Seeing how the house was decorated different. Seeing everyone so much younger. Reminiscing. Laughing about how some things never changed. Like the way my mom would say “CARL” whenever she was annoyed with him. Memories that I never knew before.
Which included seeing my parents before I really ever knew them. To think about your parents having a prior life to you is just plain craziness. But as I was watching these videos I kept thinking how cool it would be to be friends with your teenager parents. Obviously not an original idea with Back to the Future and all which also validates how cool of thing that would be. I mean they made a whole movie about it. Of course teenager parents don’t last forever since they had to become parents at some point. And even then, I wouldn’t really get to know my mom for years.
I’m sitting on the couch watching my mom feed my sister, kiss my cheek, catch me as I took my first steps, send my sister off to her first day of school. And I didn’t remember any of it. My mom did a million things for me that I have no way of even knowing about. Which makes moms kind of unbelievable and spectacular. And those home videos only showed me a sliver of her life before I knew what the heck was going on. She looked so beautiful and so happy to be able to love and kiss and hug her babies. She unconditionally loves us. And until I have kids of my own, I’ll never 100% understand what that feels like.
Gosh I wish I could of known my mom before us kids came along. But my mom has known me my whole entire life. She’s the only person who ever has. Like right from the very beginning, she was with me. Mother’s are the only people in the world who can say that. Which is an unbelievable gift and treasure. So thank you mom for loving me. Even when I never gave you any love back. I mean teenagers are probably the worst people ever. I had to have been the most sassiest teen in existence who thought all of her problems were making the world crash around her. Some of which I still carry with me today proudly. I mean everyone has to have a little sass in their life. And through those torturous years of hormones and peer pressure, my mom was there to set me straight always. She taught me my true worth. Not to follow the crowd but to find people who truly care for your well being. She taught me to stick up for my faith and beliefs even when it seemed like the whole world is against you. She had to set me straight many a times believe me. And even if I hated it in the moment, I am so unbelievably thankful that I had a mom who cared enough to do that for me.
And now here we are. Hopefully past all the hormones and dramatic speeches. Just trying to understand one another. And I’ve realized what a beautiful soul you have Cate. One that experiences heartbreak and worry. One that loves her shopping days at TJ Maxx. One who always thinks of ways to go one step further for others. One who brought out my love for Alfred Hitchcock and classic black and white movies (we are pumped for the new IT movie to come out). A soul who is one of a kind. Beautifully and fantastically created by God.
So my present to you is this. A video. Wow shocker Hope making another video. I love videos and they’re amazing so whatever. I went through all of the home footage to put together this video for you. To capture the love that you have for us when time feels like it’s going by too fast. Whoever doesn’t know..it’s a pain in the butt trying to convert VCR format to DVD to the computer. But I’m a pro at it now and I would do it all over again because this video means so much to me. It’s one of my favorites that I’ve made. You are such a wonderfully loved mother Cate. And I hope when times get tough or you start to day dream about past memories, that this video will bring you back to everything you desire.
Happy Mothers Day.
Every year I learn so much more about the amazing women that you are.
Please don’t forget this post when I’m being a huge pain and won’t put the dishes away or I’m in a sassy mood and don’t feel like talking to you. I love you so much. I mean you gave me the gift of life so I don’t know how I can ever repay you back for that except trying to tell you how spectacular of a person you are. And lots of flowers. And purses.
This video is dedicated to Cate with love…