Sunday, May 9, 2010


It's Mother's Day. I was going to post a picture of my mother, but she'd kill me and I wouldn't want to upset her on her day.

Seriously, my mother is pretty terrific. All she ever wanted to be was a mother. She married my father at 18 and had me just a few months before she turned 20. It would be another 6 years before my sister came along. When we were kids, Mom loved snow days, because she got to spend the whole day with us. And she was practically ecstatic when our school district went on strike one September. It meant almost another whole month we could stay home and play with her. We would play board games, color, do paint-by-numbers and crafts. In fact, one of my earliest memories is playing with Colorforms at our dining room table in the tiny house my parents rented in Trenton, before we moved to the tiny house I grew up in, in Levittown.

When I was in High School, I had an opportunity to travel to France with my French class. Mom took a part-time job as a Playground Monitor at a local elementary school, so she could afford to send me. She often went without so my sister and I could have the things we wanted, whether it was designer jeans; tickets to the latest show in town or my sister's wedding. She taught us the basics of housekeeping - how to cook a meal; how to sew on a button; how to remove a stain from the carpet and (best of all) how to find a bargain. I swear, that woman would make a deal with devil if it meant saving money.

After my father finally left (what she often says is "...the second best thing to happen to me, after you kids."), she went to work full-time as a switchboard operator in a local department store, quickly working her way up to HR Assistant. After that, she landed a job with with mob-owned garbage disposal company. Then she worked for a BMW dealer and finally spent 19 years as the Customer Service Manager for a Cadillac dealer before finally retiring this past fall. And she had herself a rather wild time time during her late 40's and early 50's, even dating a Russian hottie who was only a few years older than me at the time. And when I finally worked up the courage to come out to her, she simply said "I knew" and cried - not because I was gay, but because she thought I didn't trust her enough to tell her sooner.

Lately, she's had her share of health issues and has slowed down quite a bit, but she can still make the best mashed potatoes you've ever tasted (though she has yet to teach me how to make her legendary pie-crust). These days, she spends most of her time reading (I can't remember a time when she didn't have a book with her), watching Oprah and The View and generally enjoying herself (when she isn't complaining about how she can't do all the things she used to be able to do).

For Mother's Day this year, I treated her to breakfast yesterday and bought her the latest novel from one of her favorite authors, as well as a beautiful new cushion for her favorite reading chair; all of which she loved. She'd be mightily embarrassed if she knew I was extolling her virtues in such a public venue, but her innate distrust of the Internet ensures she'll never find out (unless one of my friends that know her rats me out).

I hope all of you, dear readers, have as wonderful Mom as I do. And if you don't, just remember.. it could be worse:

Or you could have a Wicked Stepmother... which case, I'm very sorry.

What a bitch!

Happy Mother's Day to all you 'Mothers" out there. I just hope you're all as great as mine.

More, anon.

1 comment:

Mrs. Pine said...

i still want to meet your fabulous mom! you made me tear up a bit, mister! glad you had such a nice day with her-- and even though i've never met your wonderful mama, i know she's fabluous 'cause she made YOU! muah, love you lots xo