My Mother's Gift
I grew up in a small town where the elementary school was a ten-minute walk from my house and in an age, not so long ago , when children could go home for lunch and find their mothers waiting.
我是在一个小镇上长大的，从镇上的小学校到我家， 只需步行10分钟。离当前不算太太久远的那个时代 ， 小学生可以回家吃午饭，而他们的母亲，则会老早在家等候着。
At the time, I did not consider this a luxury, although today it certainly would be. I took it for granted that mothers were the sandwich-makers, the finger-painting appreciators and the homework monitors. I never questioned that this ambitious, intelligent woman, who had had a career before I was born and would eventually return to a career, would spend almost every lunch hour throughout my elementary school years just with me.
I only knew that when the noon bell rang, I would race breathlessly home. My mother would be standing at the top of the stairs, smiling down at me with a look that suggested I was the only important thing she had on her mind. For this, I am forever grateful.
Some sounds bring it all back: the high-pitched squeal of my mother's teakettle, the rumble of the washing machine in the basement and the jangle of my dog's license tags as she bounded down the stairs to greet me. Our time together seemed devoid of the gerrymandered schedules that now pervade my life.
One lunchtime when I was in the third grade will stay with me always. I had been picked to be the princess in the school play, and for weeks my mother had painstakingly rehearsed my lines with me. But no matter how easily I delivered them at home, as soon as I stepped onstage, every word disappeared from my head.
Finally, my teacher took me aside. She explained that she had written a narrator's part to the play, and asked me to switch roles. Her word, kindly delivered, still stung, especially when I saw my part go to another girl.
I didn't tell my mother what had happened when I went home for lunch that day. But she sensed my unease, and instead of suggesting we practice my lines, she asked if I wanted to walk in the yard.
It was a lovely spring day and the rose vine on the trellis was turning green. Under the huge elm trees, we could see yellow dandelions popping through the grass in bunches, as if a painter had touched our landscape with dabs of gold .I watched my mother casually bend down by one of the clumps. "I think I'm going to dig up all these weeds, "she said, yanking a blossom up by its roots."From now on, we'll have only roses in this garden."
"But I like dandelions, "I protested. "All flowers are beautiful-even dandelions. "My mother looked at me seriously."Yes, every flower gives pleasure in its own way, doesn't it?" She asked thoughtfully. I nodded, pleased that I had won her over. "And that is true of people too, "she added." Not everyone can be a princess, but there is no shame in that."
Relieved that she had guessed my pain, I started to cry as I told her what had happened. She listened and smiled reassuringly.
"But you will be a beautiful narrator, " she said , reminding me of how much I loved to read stories aloud to her . "The narrator's part is every bit as important as the part of a princess.
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