I titled this pet please “Mothers,” but really, the pet please I have in mind is more specific than that. I’ll explain.
When I was little, I used to get migraines. Really bad migraines. They felt as if someone was shining a spotlight in my eyes while microwaving brocolli (the pungent smell) while screaming in my ears while smashing me on the head. Needless to say, I had to leave school when they hit (which was tough, because I was the kind of kid who didn’t want to miss any school).
My mom would come pick me up, and she’d be so gentle with me. Mom’s aren’t always gentle, for better or for worse. They challenge us, they push us, they might get mad at us, but they also unconditionally love and accept us. But they know when they need to be gentle. Mom would put up with my headachey prima donna self and guide me up the stairs to my bed when we got home. She’d pull down the blinds, tuck me into bed, and then she’d do the one thing that mothers do better than any other being in the world:
Mom would put her cool hand on my forehead. For as long as it rested there, the pain from my headache would diminish. She always knew just how to rest her palm on my temple so that the muscles up there would relax.
Then she’d close the door and quietly go downstairs.
I’ve gotten headaches as an adult, and I’ve asked girlfriends to put their hand on my forehead. Even with me positioning their hand and guiding them, it’s never the same. A mother knows.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. You too, Grandma. And you too, biological mom.