My mother has, throughout almost every second of my life, known how to press my buttons. Some of the worst decisions I've made have been seconded by her or in reaction to her. It's been, overall, a pretty unrewarding relationship, emotionally speaking. Yet it wasn't always that way. When I was a very little girl, we were a cute team.
That said, in the last two years, since David's death and her two-day ordeal on the bedroom floor and subsequent move to assisted living, her more pleasant, less narcissistic traits, her good points, if you will, have begun to emerge popping up in unexpected spots, like crocuses on an interstate highway. No less real for being pretty much invisible.
While she was cleaning out the house (still for sale, any takers?), my sister found a box of my oldest books, my Chatty Cathy doll, Thumbalina, the majorette uniform I wore in the St. Fidelius marching band --- and an obscure blue dress that just happened to be my favorite. dress. ever.