There’s something about the summer that makes me revisit books. I re-read all of Harry Potter, and then start on Fried Green Tomatoes, and then the Booky trilogy and perhaps if there is time I’ll read the Ya-Ya trilogy.
And there’s something about reading those books (Harry Potter excluded, it’s just become a sort of heralding summer tradition for me.) that make me think about my family and love them all the more. Specifically my mother.
I think it’s Wells’ novels that make me think about my relationship with my mother, and her relationship to her mother. It’s not perfect, but thinking about it all just makes me love them so much I want to tell them, I want to crawl into my mother’s arms and lay my head on her chest.
But I don’t do any of these things, I think it’s because I’m scared, or I’m shy … around my mother! I’ve spent so many angsty teenage years squirming away from her hugs, so many years craving and secretly loving all the hugs and caresses I got from my mother, and my friends, wanting to lean on them, hug them, and gently stroke them. Showing how much I love all of them through touch.
I think I stopped when I was around 12, going through puberty the first time not being able to shed that “baby fat” but gaining even more. I got to thinking that nobody could take my weight on them so I retreated and fended them all off before I hurt someone.
Even years later, I’ve gotten a hold on those dark thoughts, I don’t know how to go about it. And I’m still worried about “hurting” someone.
During the hottest parts of summer is when my mother, brother and I camp out in her bedroom because that’s where the AC is strongest, my brother sleeps on the floor and I stake out a half on the bed and to be honest the times I sleep the most soundly and deeply is beside my mom. I remember when we all went to California and well shared a hotel room, I could barely sleep for three days because of my father’s snoring but when my mom bunked with me one night I nodded off the minute I hit the sheets.
It also makes me remember when my brother was just a baby. From 2-6 he sometimes slept with me in my room. And suddenly my bed would become a rocket, or a pirate ship or a plane and we’d have grand adventures. He’d never let me sleep sometimes because he needed to shoot one more alien and he tried to find all sorts of loopholes through the “Mysterious Sleeping Potion” that was slipped into our water.
Other times I’d make up stories to tell him if I was too tired to play, his favourite by far was the “Smelly Story”. He’s been amused by farts since birth and Smelly was a man who had the stinkiest farts in the whole wide world and he use to work at a gas station in a fictional town, supplying them with fart gas. Until one day he just let one rip and leveled the whole place.
The sound of his little baby giggles and then peals of laughter when Smelly, hungry from wandering encounters a squirrel who he believe is chanting, “I’m juicy, I’m juice, come and eat me, eat me.” These are the things I remember, the things that keep me from brawling him while he is going through his angsty teenage phase. But sometimes it’s nice when we watch Community together and I explain some of the underlying social commentary to him and he eats all my snacks.
But I’m really excited to be visiting my grandmother in September! She’s getting eye surgery, I originally wanted to go in August because then I could also spend time with Nancy and September is really busy at work… but I guess September works out alright. I think I’ll need a break from work, and Nancy has her boyfriend so I’d hate to third wheel it all day.
Today's featured image is of Mirai Chan by Kawashima Kotori