Today is my mom’s birthday. That’s her: isn’t she adorable?
I genuinely mean that.
This picture was taken somewhat before she had her recent knee replacement 2 weeks ago. She’s doing well, and I’m proud of her for doing it. I hope she’ll be pain free soon and back to her speed-walking self.
She really does speed walk. Not professionally, but she should. She could race with the best of them. At little more than 5″ tall, she keeps low to the ground and just goes. This was (and is?) most pronounced when she’s at work, or particularly set on something, like getting to a certain mall store or perhaps to the bathroom. For a year or so when I was in college, she and I both worked at a hospital. To see her in the hall, in her lab coat, was like seeing a white flash of sunshine with the glint of brass knuckles at the end. It’s an impressive sight.
Obviously, she may be a little slower when she returns in a few weeks, but I kind of doubt it. Maybe she’ll be even faster – she is bionic now. But I also wouldn’t be surprised if she doesn’t just find another way to be fast; maybe she’ll get a OSHA approved go kart (she would be likely to design, build, and approve it herself) or find a way to make everything come to her.
I’m poking a tiny bit of fun, but honestly, she’s fast. It’s a little bit of a metaphor for her life and how she operates: if she wants to do something, she does it. Period. Mom is “fiercely independent,” which is a cliche phrase, but she is also always sensitive to others who aren’t so sure of themselves. I was fortunate to grow up with a woman who could make anything, fix anything, or cook anything and make whatever it was the best possible version; I firmly believe this to be the truth, and that I am not biased in any way. I do recall a sunny weekend when I was a kid during which I helped my mom re-tile our kitchen floor and make apple crisp in the same day (maybe it was spaghetti sauce? who cares). How was I able to have the confidence to get through college pretty fast, to choose a career and stick with it, to get married at 22, and to make these decisions with certainty? Because of my mom’s example, partly. Watching her, I thought I could do anything I wanted and be good at it. She always did and was. (Oops. I mean “is.”) I’ve had varying success, but I keep trying. That’s what she would do.
A real conversation between my mom and I:
Mom: Hey, do you need favors for your baby shower?
Mom: How about I make some adorable, personalized glycerin soaps with charms in the middle that look like a million bucks? You know, the kind your friends will be talking about years later? The kind that you’ll try to make for yourself that will look like blobs of phlegm that you hacked into a mold?
me: OK. Cool.
It’s those kind of things that make my mom the best mom ever.
Other things I love about my mom:
- I already mentioned the apple crisp. She’s a wonderful cook. I still call her from the aisles of Meijer, but less often that I did in the past. It’s clear I don’t have the gift. Fish sticks forever, I guess.
- My mom loves my brother and I so much… too much? That’s all.
- I love that my mom loves simplicity. She loves hanging out, watching baseball, just being with the people she likes the best. She’ll take you as you are. No drama. No gossip. No mind games. And best, no guilt! We leave that to the other relatives.
- I love her snorty laugh, her cuddly hugs, her ability to calm us, and her obsession with her grandkids.
- I love her foul mouth.
- I love her near perfect skin. Today she turned 40 and she looks SO young! I didn’t get the cooking, or the craftiness, but maybe I’ll get the skin? Dammit. I doubt it.
Well, there’s a lot more, but the brats are crying. A long day partying with their grandma has made them a little cranky.
Happy birthday, mom! Let’s go to Italy soon. I love you!