• Whitney Haynes

My Mother is….

My mother is a strong Mother.

My mother is a feminist Mother.

My Mother is a creative Mother.

My mother is a caring Mother.

My Mother is LOVE

Painting of our mom by Heather Haynes

One of the most nostalgic memories I have of my mother is watching her hang laundry on a summer day mid-morning. It is a warm day with a light breeze. She has a wig on and a brightly patterned silk scarf wrapped in a hairband style, I guess to hide the wig hairline. I do not remember her being a “wig wearing” mom much but that day she did. She has on a pair of cropped cigarette style pants with zippers up the side. I cannot remember the top she was wearing but in my mind, it is a smock top of sorts in white or crème, she most likely sewed it. She dips down to pick up a piece of laundry to hang on the line. She seems at peace, not hurried like this chore is her own time out like it’s not a chore at all. I am sitting on the threshold of the back kitchen door, with my hand propped under my chin. I am a tom girl, so although I am dressed like a boy and have a hair cut from the local barbershop I sit in admiration of my mother’s style and femininity. I think she is beautiful, but more than that I think she is the best mom on the block and how lucky am I. The last part of this picture is her reaching up to pin the laundry, she doesn’t have one of those cool decks that attaches to the house like our “rich” neighbours, you know the ones were the mom doesn’t have to reach up to the line, her coffee cup set upon on the rail; oh to have one of those clotheslines I remembering thinking wistfully. She reaches up to the line, pegs and laundry in hand all the while brilliantly pursing her cigarette between her beautiful red-stained lips.

My mom, the laundry slinging, cigarette smoking, goddess of Henderson Place.

I am 7 years old, I feel empowered in my mother’s presence.

50 years later I feel the same way as I watch her hop onto her paddleboard at the lake and paddle into the wilds of Lake Opinicon, my mother is now 79.

I feel empowered in my mother’s presence.

During these tough times of isolation and uncertainty, I wrote this memory as a gift to my mom for Mother’s Day, I want to make sure my mom feels the love that flows between us, for her to know that it is sacred. Reminders of love and connection are more important than ever these days. Let’s make all the moms and mom figures in our lives feel extra LOVE this Mother’s Day.

xo, Whitney

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