Sunday, August 30, 2009

Corralling *The Little Pirate* (or why mothers turn grey)

(Elinor Frances Stewart Huskey July 31, 1923- August 30, 1990)

Yes, that is me with my poor mother hanging on for dear life. We were on board the U.S.S. Patch, headed for our station in Germany in the mid-sixties. And why is she holding so tightly to that Little Pirate??? Because I had a tendency to run as fast as my fat little legs could go and jump! I had this thing about water (still do, though I swim atrociously!) and if someone didn't nearly have me on a leash, I'd be in it.
And I couldn't swim.
No fear. Or maybe it was no brains. ;-)
Mother spent her life trying to reel me in, all the while I was pulling hard, trying to reel myself out. I think the expression says it all......no smile, no cooperating, no giving in, just pure determination. No wonder she wanted me to join a convent, to keep me out of trouble! And seriously, I considered it for a good while, but it was that *unquestioning obedience* part that steered me away.
I learned a lot from her; cooking, embroidery, we had a few vain attempts at knitting until I taught myself. I remember wash day with the laundry baskets lined with plastic from the cleaners, holding the starched, damp and rolled clothing, awaiting the iron. Everything was so fresh afterwards!
I managed to ruin many dresses with bouquets of dandelions for mother; the milk from the stems leaving a trail of brown dots across the cotton........mom would patiently embroider little Lazy-Daisies on each stain, with French Knots in the middle, thus making the dress fit to wear again.
I thought it was tres cool.......it wasn't until I was an adult that I realized she did this because we did not have the money to buy new clothing at the rate I buzzed through my wardrobe. In fact, I was well protected from the fact that due to monthly military pay, at the end of each month, my folks were counting pennies to make it to the next paycheck.
While I was highly encouraged in art, dance and music by mom, I was crushed and disillusioned when, my senior high school year, ready for college and planning on an art degree, I discovered that it was not happening. My god-parents controlled my college fund and they would only agree to what they chose for me to do. Me? An anchor person on some local news broadcast? Give me a break!!!! (or just take a look at that face in the picture....says it all....)
And so, that was the end of a lot of dreams and hopes and the beginning of a tremendous amount of really bad behaviour and being a rebellious little stink in general.
Maybe that is why there is only one photo with this post---because those were still the happy years, without my aunt and uncle involved in our lives, and mom and I were good friends. Maybe it is normal for a daughter to revolt against her mother at some point, to try and leave the nest. Maybe I just like this sweet memory, and the pic really expresses my disposition du jour, or even now. Too determined, too inflexible. Certain of where I am going despite warning.
No matter...........rest peacefully mother.
I turned out okay...............more or less.

Pax.

19 comments:

yoborobo said...

You turned out wonderfully! And as the mother of a little stink pirate girl (now a mature old 19), let me say this - your mom loved that part of you, as much I love it in my daughter. Even though it carved a few years off the old life. Even though I had to go into a closet and silently scream now & then. haha! I wouldn't change that firebrand of a kid for anything. And as for not getting to pursue your dream of being an art major, when I told my Dad what I wanted to do in college (art), he snorted. SNORTED, Anne! LOL!
Rest assured, you are a fabulous person and an amazing artist. :)

yoborobo said...

PS. I adore that picture of you. You were ready to take on the world. :)

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Thanks Pam.....I often wonder if I could have faced some of the more gruesome challenges of life without the hardening process growing up. It gives you a different perspective---as with you---having to FIGHT for your art. Geez....WHY??? It was a tough post to write, and I'm not sure I captured what I should have but I captured enough.
And yes, I still get that look; ready to take on the world.....or the mower, or the plumbing, or, well, whatever! LOL!!!
And it's nice to hear a mom's perspective on us little wild stink-girls..... :) Does the closet still have walls????

yoborobo said...

I think you captured a lot. And I'm still thinking about your mom sewing those little daisies on your dresses. :) You must have been something else. I would have loved to have known you as a kid. We could have gotten into trouble together. You could have been head pirate. LOL! I'm headed out the door to take my stinky-pirate-girl back to college. Oh, and the closet does not have any walls left. Some of those screaming sessions weren't so silent. LOL! have a good day, Anne! xox

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

LOL!!!! LOL!!!!
I think we could get in a lot of trouble NOW if we lived closer.....I haven't exactly *given up*!!!! ;)

Leslie said...

That's a great pic and what a wonderful story as always. Take care of you. Love it and love you.

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Thanks Leslie---us Pirates have to stick together! ;)

Linda Moran said...

Nun????? Actually, I considered it for a while, too....until I discovered boys....Thanks for the post - you've hinted at a lot of what I couldn't say - at least not yet, even though I pretty much have come to terms. I was 12, drawing cartoons in charcoal, and announced I wanted to go to art school in New York, and was told I had no talent. That thought was there for MANY years.

You turned out wonderfully!

Jan said...

This photo says so much! I love it! Nice to read something about your mom, too. I get the feeling that your dad was more influential in your life but that your mom was always there, maybe in the background, but her influence was felt just the same. Surely she is why you still iron your sheets!

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hi Linda,

Everything takes time to process....to be able to say what you want and only as much as you want. I could have rambled forever but who wants to read that??? ;)
There is this inner soul that is killed when our art is taken away. No, not killed---punctured, bruised, knifed. It doesn't die and it doesn't go away.
Maybe it's the era we grew up in, who knows because I hear the same thing from more and more people.
So we're all little pirates in the same boat!
Your words will come when it's their time. You take care.

XXOO!!!

Anne

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hey Jan,

LOL on the sheets!!! The story there was when polyester double knit came on the scene, mother embraced it waaaaaay to easily! I missed my crisp dresses and sheets, etc (no, I was clueless to the amount of WORK!) and I think I do this now because I remember how nice everything was starched and pressed....the smell, the slight slick starch surface. I don't know. Maybe I'm just nuts and anal..HAHAHAHAHA!!!!
Mom just clung too tightly. She was always there, but that face of mine.....that says it all. And yes, I nursed her right up to the end; helped carry her out of the house on the backboard with the EMT's on her last trip to the hospital before passing. I was there till almost the end, and I finally had to sleep. It was when I was just drifting off that she passed...a nurse came and got me, she just went quick then....like she had waited for me to leave the room.......
Sorry, too morose.

XXOO!!!

A.

Marilyn said...

What a wonderful post!!
Don't you wonder how any of us managed to live through childhood??
I just love the photo!!
Love,
Marilyn
xxoo

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hi Marilyn,

Yes, I do wonder how we lived through it....and even TODAY I wonder with some of my adventures how I manage to survive! LOL!!!
I just recently found that pic in some sent from my aunt; didn't even know it existed! What a little hard head! :)

XXOO!!!

Anne.

Ces said...

God Bless your mother! Hah! You rascal you! You sure made her run after you. Hahaha! What a fascinating woman you are. The more I read the more I keep reapeating Wow! and Whoa! I love learning all these things about you and then admiring your fabulous art. It's wonderful to meet interesting people on the blogs which by the way, seems to be a majortity of women. I hope your migraine is gone! Have a great week!

gypsylulu said...

Ahhh, Anne...i am just now coming in here...a lovely busy day with Dana...i only have one more day with her on this visit..but, we sure pack a lot in each day!..enough of me for now..

I tell you, Anne...i just love how you can reveal yourself so beautifully...describing events in your life..its wonderful...
i do not have that gift...the words.. but, my life is an open book..i have never felt the need to hide much..but, expressing it is another thing..
I love this photo...so good that you have it!..
You are wonderful and amazing at the same time!...
gypsy

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hi Ces,

Yes, finally the monster migraine has wandered away....hopefully for a long time. LOL!
It is amazing how many women online have exceptional stories to tell, wonderful work they produce and if it weren't for Blogland, we would never know it. What a delightful way to learn about people all across the country and world!
I certainly gave poor mother a run for her money......maybe it's a girl-thing!
Hope you're doing better!!!

XXOO!!
Anne

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Jean,

Glad Dana is there for today too--enjoy it much!!!
It's funny; since I started the blog it has become easier to write, something I used to do a lot of in High School and then quit, well, I think you can figure out when!
Through the constant daily posts, things have come back to me, photos have brought back memories, it's been a tool to connect with the world as much as reconnect with ME.
How odd, eh? And I thought it was strictly going to be about art!
Maybe this is a greater thing altogether.......that I don't know where it's leading me but it is hopefully a bit good for others and provides me a morning discipline!

XXOO!!

Anne

Julie ZS said...

This was a really touching post Anne, I'm glad that you shared such a real, true memory. It really tells the story behind that photo.

I find myself doing the same thing as your mom did with you sometimes. It is hard not to, after you've put so much into raising your kid, to lose them to something tragically dumb like falling overboard would just be too much to bear. Peeling my restraining fingers off that arm, one by one takes a lot more inner strength than I care to admit to...

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

It's interesting to hear a mom's point of view; my mother was overprotective to the point where I did things just to irk her; I just was smothered. I know it was with good intent, and being an only child made that worse, but great day---she expected me to stay at home until I was 32 like she did with her mom! It was sometimes like she was afraid to live her life, and wouldn't allow me a chance to live mine. I'm not sure that explains it, but there was this odd dynamic.
And dad would sit there, look over the top of his trifocals and just shake his head, then light a cigarette!!! LOL!

XOXO!!!

Anne

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