The mothership has landed

In the movies, the mothership usually lands when all hell has broken lose, or is about to. The mothership comes to solve all problems (rescuing E.T., save the world, etc) or to start them (eg.
"Independence Day").

Either way, when the mothership lands, everyone, everywhere, stops wherever they are and whatever they are doing, get out of their cars, hold on to their dogs, with their hairs flowing with the wind caused by mothership's arrival, afraid and astonished by its size and omnipotence.

The mothership has the power of making everyone feel so small, no matter how tall you have grown.

Where is the mothership now, with all her mighty force and influence?

She is cleaning my oven.

Let me tell you first why that is.

When I was twenty years old and landed myself in United States, I decided to drive from Miami to Maine, as a vacation escape to find out where in the world I wanted to end up (I still haven't completely figured that out).

I called my mother somewhere in Florida to let her know I was staying and that, no, I was not quitting school. I was just taking a break, a six-month break.

My mother, not so calmly said, "I will bring you back by the ear!" and I believed her. Every time solicitors rang my bell, somewhere in Virginia, I was sure it was my mom, and that she would grab my ear, throw me in a cab and put me back in a plane to Brazil.

She would yell on the phone that I could barely take a bus on my own. I would try and explain to her that this is why I needed to be gone. She would have none of it. Co-dependence, anyone?

When I told my parents, during dinner time, six months later, that I was accepted in an American college and was offered a scholarship, my dad was proud, my brother was quiet, and my mother cried.

Mothership is now asking if she can clean one of my windows because it has fingerprints on it.

Before my mother arrived I had cleaned the house spotless and cooked her favorite lasagna. I wanted to impress her, make her believe I have grown a little.

The mothership always knows better, though, and in her mind I am stuck at fifteen years old, when I didn't want to clean my room. For some reason she believes I am still that girl, seventeen-odd years later.

She also wants to go shopping for Brazilian food ingredients and thinks I don't eat well enough.

Mothership just passed by with a bunch of trash that she brought from upstairs. I have no idea where she got them.

In my early twenties, this used to drive me up the wall. I would get offended. I would battle my mother trying to prove to her my adulthood.

Mothership is now asking where my gardening tools are. She wants to tie the tomato plants properly to a stick and, by the way, she already made tomato sauce with the thirty or so tomatoes she collected this dawn.

Anyway, as I was saying, her behavior, always trying to teach me something, pretending I have not grown, taking over the house duties, used to hit a nerve.

I have accepted that this is my mother and for mothers, their children are always too young.

So when her plane landed I took a deep breath and told myself: she will clean your house, she will tell you the best way to do things, she will tell you that all the books about babies that you are reading are moot points, she will talk nonstop, she will take over and do things that needed to have been done a month ago, she will tell you you are cranky and messy, but she will also shower you with love and will do anything in her almighty power to see you happy.

Breath deeply, and let her clean, take her advice, nod when she tells you something she already told you for the millionth time, don't be a smart ass, let her cook rice and beans for twenty days in a row, even if you all end up farting up the beans for the same length of time.

Mothership just opened the oven and said to it, "You are so clean, oven!" and is now hunting for a broom to sweep the fall leaves on the sides of the house. I tell her not to fly away with it, with her witch powers. She says it is cheaper than American Airlines, and disappears in the garage.

After we spent the whole day buying an ungodly amount of baby clothes and baby things I never even heard of, my mother went on to tell me about how when she breastfed me, I would hold her breast with both little hands, and she showed me in the air how big the little hands were. I got teary-eyed, but looked away, because she is not supposed to know that.

My friend Jayme (hi, Jayme!) says you start to look at your mother in a whole different light when you are pregnant. You understand suddenly everything she went through for you and everything she still does, no matter how old you are.

My mother just said hello to a bird chirping outside my window, while passing by with a large broom in hand.

With that in mind, let me go grab another broom. I heard it's cheaper than American Airlines.


  1. Mothers are not easy in general. I am probably being too tough on mine right now, but this is what she taught me. Life isn't easy, you better tough it up or get ready to learn in the hard way.
    My mom is a perfectionist, everything she does is nothing but perfect, from work stuff to eating habits to how she keeps the house. Of course she wouldn't expect less then perfection from her daughter. I am far from perfect, but as we grew older and physically apart, we both learned that we could make the effort to understand that although we a genetically similar as any mother and daughter we are two uniques individuals, and we'll respect that. We get a long a lot better now... She even stayed for few months last times she visited me, and didn't want to kick her out!
    Good luck to you and your mom!

  2. I LOVE this post. You get it!! A Mother's love is like no other and you just cannot turn off the mother button. Your mom is amazing and so are you. You are going to be a fantastic mommy

  3. MA RA VI LHO SO !!!!! Amei o seu texto Mari,fiquei aqui imaginando a cena,Tia Katya correndo por ai com baldes, esponjas e vassouras..
    Mas é issomesmo,quando a gente "vira" mãe a nossa percepção muda toda, e te garanto que em alguns anos será vc que estara por ai tentando voar em uma vassoura(mais barato que Amarican Airlines!)


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