My mom. MY MOM. My mom. Happy, spiritual, mystic. Unicorny. My dad calls her Pollyanna. She is the most encouraging and loving person in the entire world. Pathologically so. If you stab a vagrant in front of my mother, she will compliment your even knife strokes. No matter what you do, she will always be your biggest fan. Did you just catch a frisbee? Holy shit you’re going to go pro, probably. Have you drawn something lately? Hold the fuck on; what’s the MOMA’s number?
Yesterday I went to pick up my kids after work and found them in a small room upstairs with my mom, sitting in a circle around a dying cat. We don’t know how old Maya is; she was already an adult when we adopted her 15 years ago. My mom looked up at me and said in a very serious and still voice, “We think Maya is going to pass over soon. The kids are saying goodbye.” There was a moment when Henry—my crazy, baby anarchist—leaned over Maya. His little brow was furrowed, and he extended two of his chubby, baby fingers and stroked the very top of Maya’s head. Carefully. Slowly. Soft as butterfly wings. In that moment, my mom looked up at me with a huge smile on her face. She was so intensely proud. I could read her thoughts in her body language like a goddamn book and they said, “You SEE? You see, your kids can still be spiritual. Your kids get it. They still have a chance.” I just smiled, inwardly rolled my eyes, leaned down to scratch Maya’s head for a few seconds, and left the room.
A few minutes later, I was sitting on my brother’s bedroom floor, scanning his bookshelf for shit to steal. The kids were behind me, looking at his posters. My mom walked in, and we all stood up. Henry ran to my mom and grabbed her hand. “NANA NANA NANA!” She smiled down at him, still high from their shared spiritual experience. “What, honey?” she asked. Henry grinned. “LET’S GO SEE IF IT’S DEAD YET!”
I giggled. I smiled at her. I fought the urge to whisper the word, “mine.”