For my birthday I got to lunch with my mom. Her treat. Really, though, it probably should have been mine. She did all the hard work 43 years ago to give me this date to celebrate.
She has been the most influential person in my life. She formed me and shaped me, like a bonsai tree. And then I rebelled and went out on my own. And now I’m a mix of all the people I’ve ever known. I’m shaped by having relationships and experiences.
I learned grace from my mom. She is the most generously gracious person I have ever known. She always reminds me to see things as better than I feel they deserve. And this helps me combat anger or disgust. It helps me save face.
I learned to survive from my mom. She lost a six year old daughter when I was one. I don’t have any conscious memories of this time. But if you look through the family photo albums, my sister is there… and then she’s not. And then there’s a photo of my mom holding me, looking nearly happy. How in the world did she do that?
I learned to laugh from my mom. She is downright funny in an “I Love Lucy” kind of way.
I learned to be organized from my mom. I keep similar notebooks as she does with dates and costs in them. What I served at a party and was it enough food? Everything has a place, and my cupboards are arranged accordingly. Of course, I’m a sloppier version of my mom in this regard, but nonetheless, I got the skills from her.
I did not learn to be disciplined like she is. My brother got that one. She is determined and goal oriented. It’s really impressive. I can do it sometimes, but not like her.
The thing of it is, my mom doesn’t really see herself as I do. She’s the most beautiful woman in the world. She doesn’t like herself in pictures which is such a shame.
After my birthday feast, we went to Costco- which is a true treat as my town doesn’t have one. I wanted to take a selfie to document the day. She thought it was goofy, but went with it.
My mom is nearly 4 inches shorter than me. She seems so tiny to me. She lost a couple of inches when she broke her back (twice) due to osteoporosis. I squatted down so that our heads would be level. And she squatted too. Which made us laugh. I said, “You don’t have to squat, mom!” And she giggled back, “You squatted, so I squatted, too.” And I finally got a picture that shows what my mom is to me.
She’s my friend, my companion and my therapist. She’s the source of my laughter and the queller of my fears. She’s my etiquette coach and my attitude adjuster. She’s someone I respect and admire and love with no limits. Happy birth-day to you, Mommycakes. Thank you for this wonderful life.