I’ll never forget what my mom said to me when I told her that I was pregnant with Astrid “Oh my word that is funny – just think – when I was 39 both you are your brother were out of the house already and here you are at 40 and just having a baby. Oh thank God that wasn’t me!”
And then we both laughed hysterically. But really it was funny. All of it.
My mother and I really don’t have a lot in common. She’s short. I’m not. She’s the oldest of seven and loves all babies. I’m the youngest of two and only like my own babies. She cannot bake. I can. She thinks Monet is just a costume jewelry brand. I know he’s more than that. She loves short hair. I love long hair. She worked outside of the home. I stay home. She irons. I own an iron. Maybe. She bought it for me. It stays in the box until she visits. She likes small towns. I like big cities. She had her babies in her early 20’s. I did not.
The list goes on.
Which is probably why she’s my best friend. It’s also probably why I was a complete asshole to her during my high school years. But why, by the time I was 20, I realized what an amazing women she is and I’m glad I got to know her again – as a person and a woman rather than just as a mother. Because she’s so much more.
And if I hadn’t stepped back in I would’ve missed a whole lot of laughter.
Because if there’s one thing we have in common – it’s our sense of humor. My god my mother is funny. And most of all – she can laugh at herself. Oh can she laugh at herself. Every week there is something we are giggling about on the phone. If I hear or want to share something funny – she’s the first person I call because I want to hear her laugh.
I hope I can teach this to my kids – to not take themselves so seriously because really humans are hilarious.
My mom sent me this email a few months ago…as a prime example of her self-deprecation…
OMG let me tell you about making rice krispie treats: I REALLY NEED TO DO A COOKING AND BAKING SHOW:)
Sunday I thought to myself – I have marshmallows and rice krispies, I think I’ll make some bars. That WAS MY FIRST MISTAKE!
I took out my glass bowl, the butter and the marshmallows. Then I figured I could put them in the microwave to melt them faster – right???? Have you ever put a peep in the microwave? OMG these things were huge and of course going over the bowl. I stopped the microwave and took out a pan for the stove – do you know that once you have nuked the hell out of marshmallows you CAN NOT melt them in a pan? Those things become tough balls of goo! After bouncing them around in the pans for what seemed FOREVER – I concluded that all the mushing, stuffing, bouncing and piercing was not going to work. As is common with my attempting to bake I walked over to the garbage – oh yeah – and dumped them in the trash. This truly had me laughing remembering how 38 years ago I tried making these things for a cookie exchange after my “real cookies” also didn’t turn out. Although I didn’t have a microwave back then once I put them in the pan and they set I couldn’t get them out of the pan or cut them! It all went in the trash. So what have I learned from this? I know that I will not live another 38 years to ever attempt this again! Thanks for the recipe though:)
And you’ve read her thoughts on the iPad.
I love her for these things. For her beautiful imperfections. For her beautiful laugh. For her big hugs that come from her tiny body. For her unending kindness and laughter.
I don’t need a mom to remember who wore a crisp apron, or baked the perfect cookie, or laid out the perfect table. I don’t need a mother who made my beds, or kept the perfect garden, or always had fresh flowers on the table. I don’t think kids care about that stuff. Kids care about the quality time you spend, the hugs you give, the love you share, and the laughter that fills a house with joy.
Which makes my mother just about perfect(except for the short hair thing).
Happy Birthday, Mom. I’m so lucky that you’re mine.