December 1st – a glorious day. The beginning of a month, a day to really kick off the holiday season, also…
My mother turns 70 today.
Now I don’t know about you, but being able to say one has walked the face of the earth for seventy years is quite an accomplishment in my book. I dream that by the time I get to seventy I will have accomplished some pretty amazing things to justify the roadmap that will surely be etched all over my face. Like invent something that stops people from complaining about overage fees in AT&T commercials.
My mother is no different. She really has done some pretty cool stuff in her lifetime: raised three kids, traveled all over the world, worked as a nurse in pediatrics and obstetrics, married my dad (that’s an accomplishment in itself), and the list goes one.
More importantly, it is not what this great woman has achieved; it is more what she has taught me and my siblings in this life:
1) Any time is a good time for chocolate cake. Seriously – any time.
2) Always soak dirty socks. Somehow when she does laundry it is better than taking it to the cleaners. She pre-soaks grass-stained items. She is a like an ERA commercial, but for real.
3) Use of the phrases: “Don’t go there.” “You go girl!” “It is what it is.” And, “Well, it could be worse.” Will cap off any conversation nicely.
4) Stay young at heart. I know this idiom is overused, but really, she is. She is up for anything, has a positive attitude about even the crapiest of events, and she watches Extra to keep up with the gossip. ‘Nuff said.
5) Keep Kleenex, wet wipes, and colorful lipstick in your purse. It’s the woman’s McGuyver kit.
6) When all else fails, use condensed soup to jazz up a chicken dish. It works. Word.
7) Wear your sunglass, even indoors. It creates an air of mystery. It also will also salvage your irises.
8) Give a damn. If there is one thing that my mother is the queen of, it’s giving a crap. The little things matter, the big things matter more. All people matter, even the jerk-wads.
9) Color, highlight, or frost your hair. No one knows how Stonehenge came to be. Just like no one knows if my mother has gray hair.
10) Be thankful for what you have. Good health? Check. Roof over your head? Check. Food to eat? Check. Glass of wine and People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive 2012 edition? Bonus.
I could write a book about what my mother has given to her children, but the most important thing she gave is how to be a good person.
This past weekend, we held a birthday celebration for my mother to ring in the big 7-0. All three of us kids tearfully spoke about why she is so tremendous. The theme of each speech was how to be a kind and caring person. You can teach a kid how to ride a bike, but you can’t teach them how to be a good person. You lead by example. If there is one thing I can pass down to my daughter from my mother, it is this very thing, to be a good person.
Today I would like everyone to raise their glass of wine, whiskey, or prune juice in a toast to my mom. If you see her, give her a hug, buy her a latte, or compliment her on her scarf from Chico’s. She is a fabulous lady and deserves an award of some type. I will be giving her the, You are my mother and still putting up with my baloney award.
Of course, my mom would get embarrassed if she actually received an award for her awesomenes, and really, she doesn’t need a trophy. Everyone she meets instantly knows how amazing she is. And really, isn’t that the most important thing? The feeling you give to others.
That, and seventy years of hospital corners.