In my latest post about mixed marriages I revealed the raw side of Baddy, a side that I admittedly find very attractive. This is not to say that I find all of his ruggedness palatable but he is so strong and capable that I’ll take the good with the bad.
With all of his outdoorsman toughness there is the other side of him, a sensitive and loving side that fills me with adoration and admiration. He is the one who pulls us closer together not accepting my innate desire to run when things get difficult. It is his refined and distinguished side that enables him to understand and let go of my raw side that is much less appealing than his.
After I threw my back out over Thanksgiving Baddy led me to the bedroom where he had lit candles, Don’t worry about the kids, he assured me. I will put them to bed, and he massaged my back and kissed my neck until I fell into a deep slumber.
I am very lucky to have Baddy in my life and as our deep connection grows stronger with every passing year I realize that it is our mother’s who are responsible for our love.
My mother, Nicky, and Baddy’s mother, Barbara are both remarkable women. Barbara would have been the perfect pioneer back when the West was won. She has skinned and gutted an entire deer brought home by Baddy’s father and she has cooked a snake that she accidentally ran over on the road. She had always wondered what snake tasted like and figured that it would be foolish to waste such a perfect opportunity to find out.
She harbors a strong but quiet spirituality grounding those around her with her calmness and solidity. She is patient and thoughtful only offering up her precious gems of wisdom if you push her, which I often do.
Visiting their cabin one summer Baddy took off for a bike ride thinking that I was fine to stay and read on the deck with the sound of the babbling creek soothing my soul, but he was mistaken. My brow furrowed and I began to fume when I realized he had left without me and when I heard Barbara say, Don’t get angry, get going, I listened as always and hightailed it out of there. Her advice and intuitive words leave me smiling for days
My mother grew up during the Great Depression in England where something as small as an orange gave her immense joy. During the war her parents fled from Germany and disguised their Jewish heritage, starting over again from nothing. She grew up as an only child with books as her only companions. Her friends lived far away and she was never given any toys to play with.
When she had her three daughters she and our father lavished us with beautiful gifts of jewelry and art that they found while on their travels and provided us with the life that they were deprived of as children.
Nicky is witty and effervescent and surrounded by loved ones who stick close to her to absorb her wisdom, intelligence, spirit and laughter. When you are not being extremely difficult your presence fills me with immense happiness, she tells me in her sing-song British voice.
In addition to adoring their children and grandchildren and being the ones their family and friends flock to, both Barbara and Nicky pay fastidious attention to life’s small details finding pleasure and beauty in everything around them.
A conversation does not go by without my mother poetically describing the day, the sun, through the frosty cold, is shining on the glistening trees, she tells me bringing me back to my beloved New England trees.
As we attempt to make cookies over the holidays and light the menorah while decorating the Christmas tree we hope that we are giving our children the same love and teaching them the same values that our our mothers taught us.
What they gain from the holidays may be a more modern and less defined belief system but it is filled with love and incorporates the best of the worlds that we individually both grew up in.