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abatement/[ə'beitmənt]/ n. 减少, 减轻, 缓和, 折扣, 撤消, 中止 ...

母亲的手

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As teenagers we live in a different world from our mothers,a world where mothers hang out on the peripheries.Of course,almost everyone has one;they are unavoidable annoyances.

Today,as I approach that edge,as I am the one with the teenage daughter,I look at my mother through different eyes.And I sometimes wish I could halt the years and stop her from growing older,stop her from repeating herself.

作为孩子,我们生活在和母亲不同的世界里,生活在一个由母亲监控的世界里。当然,几乎每个人都有一个这样的世界,这是不可避免的烦恼。

现在,当我也处在监控的位置上,当我也成为一个女孩的母亲时,我开始从另一个角度来看我的母亲。有时候,我希望自己能够让时间停止,让我的母亲不再变得衰老,让她不再一遍遍地唠叨。

We sit at my kitchen table as the sun designs a mosaic of light on the tile floor.My daughter,Anna,sits next to my mother.

“When is Rick going to be here?” my mother asks,referring to my husband.

“I don't know,Mom,”I answer patiently.“He'll be here for dinner.”

我们坐在餐桌旁边,阳光照在地板上,形成马赛克状的光斑。我的女儿安娜就坐在我母亲旁边。

“瑞克什么时候来?”母亲问。瑞克是我的丈夫。

“我不知道,妈妈,”我耐心地回答,“他会来这儿吃饭。”

I sigh and get up from the table.This is at least the tenth time she has asked that question in as many minutes.

While my mother and daughter play Monopoly,I busy myself making a salad.

“Don't put in any onions,”Mom says.“You know how Daddy hates onions.”

我叹了口气,站起身来。不大一会工夫,她已经问了不下十遍了。

妈妈和女儿在玩强手棋,我则忙着做沙拉。

“别放洋葱,”妈妈说,“你知道你爸爸有多讨厌洋葱。”

“Yes,Mom,”I answer,shoving the scallions back into the fridge.

I scrub off a carrot and chop it into bite-size pieces.I thrust the knife into the carrot with more force than is necessary.A slice falls onto the floor.

“好的,妈妈。”我回答道,顺手把洋葱又塞进冰箱。

我洗干净一个胡罗卜,把它切成小块。我象撒气似的用力把刀刺进胡罗卜。有一片罗卜掉到了地上。

“Don't put any onions in the salad,”she reminds me.“You know how Daddy hates onions.”

This time I can't answer.

I just keep cutting.Chopping.Tearing.If only I could chop away the years.Shred the age from my mother's face and hands.

“沙拉里一点洋葱也不要放,”她提醒我,“你知道你爸爸有多讨厌洋葱。”

这次我没有回答。

我只是不停地切着、剁着、流着泪。要是我能把这些年流逝的时间一扫而光就好了。将母亲脸上、手上的岁月沧桑抚平。

My mother had been beautiful.She still is.In fact,my mother is still everything she has been,just a bit forgetful.I try to convince myself that's all that it is,and if she really concentrated,she would not repeat herself so much.There isn't anything wrong with her.

母亲一直都很漂亮。现在也是。实际上,母亲基本没变,只是有点健忘。我试着说服自己,就是这点问题,如果她真能集中精力,就不会这么一遍遍地唠叨了。她并没有什么毛病。

I cut off the end of the cucumber and rub it against the stalk to take away the bitterness.The white juice oozes out the sides.Wouldn't it be nice if all unpleasant situations could be so easily remedied?Cut and rub.This is a trick I have learned from my mother,along with a trillion other things:cooking,sewing,dating,laughing,thinking.I learned how to grow up.I learned the art of sorting through emotions.

我切下黄瓜的一端,用它在黄瓜上摩擦以消除苦味。白色的汁液从边上渗出来。如果所有的不快都能这么容易地解决,这不是太好了吗?切下来,然后摩擦。这是我从母亲那里学来的窍门,除了这个,还有数不清的事情:做饭,缝纫、约会、笑、思考。我学会了如何长大,学会了处理感情的艺术。

And I learned that when my mother was around,I never had to be afraid.

So why am I afraid now?

而且我知道,只要母亲在旁边,没有什么东西可以让我害怕。

那么,现在我为什么害怕呢?

I study my mother's hands.Her nails are no longer a bright red,but painted a light pink,almost no color at all.And as I stare at them,I realize I am no longer looking at those hands but feeling them as they shaped my youth.Hands that packed a thousand lunches and wiped a million tears off my cheeks.Hands that tucked confidence into each day of my life.

我仔细端详母亲的手。她的指甲不再是鲜红色的了,但却涂成了淡粉色,那颜色淡得几乎没有。在我端详这双手的时候,我发现自己不再是看这双手,而是在感觉这双塑造我青春的手。这是一双为我装过成千上万次午餐,无数次从我的脸颊擦去泪水的手,是一双在我生命中的每一天都给我信心的手。

I turn away and throw the cucumber into the bowl.And then it hits me.My hands have grown into those of my mother's.

Hands that have cooked uneaten meals,held my own daughter's frightened fingers on the first day of school and dried tears off her face.

我转过身把黄瓜扔进碗里。然后我突然心中一动。我的手已经长成了母亲那样。

这双手曾做了多少顿没有吃的饭,曾在女儿上学的头一天握着她受惊的手指,擦干她脸上的泪水。

I grow lighthearted.I can feel my mother kiss me goodnight,check to see if the window is locked,then blow another kiss from the doorway.Then I am my mother,blowing that same kiss to Anna off that same palm.

Outside everything is still.Shadows fall among the trees,shaped like pieces of a puzzle.

我的心情舒畅起来。我能感觉到母亲吻我,向我道晚安,检查窗户是否关严,然后在门口又给我一个飞吻。然后,我变成了我的妈妈,用同一个手掌也给了安娜一个飞吻。

屋外一切如旧。树影朦胧,如同一个迷。

Someday my daughter will be standing in my place,and I will rest where my mother now sits.

Will I remember then how it felt to be both mother and daughter?Will I ask the same question one too many times?

总有一天我的女儿会站在这里,而我会在母亲坐的位置上休息。

那时我还会记得为人母又为人女时的感受吗?我也会无数次地问同样的问题吗?

I walk over and sit down between my mother and her granddaughter.

“Where is Rick?”my mother asks,resting her hand on the table next to mine.The space between us is smaller than when I was a teenager,barely visible at all.

我走过去,坐在我母亲和她的孙女中间。

“瑞克在哪儿?”母亲问,她的手放在桌上,紧挨着我的手。我们之间的距离比起我还是孩子的时候要小得多,几乎看不见。

And in that instant I know she remembers.She may repeat herself a little too much.But she remembers.

“He'll be here,”I answer with a smile.

在那一刻我知道她记起来了。她可能一会儿的工夫就反反复复唠叨好几遍,但她记起来了。

“他会来这。”我笑着回答。

My mother smiles back,one of those grins where the dimple takes over the shape of her face,resembling my daughter.

母亲对我笑了笑,笑容在脸上荡漾开来的样子,很象我的女儿。

Then she lets her shoulders relax,picks up the dice.

然后,她的肩膀松弛下来,拿起了骰子。
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