Meet: My Mom

For Mother’s Day, an early Monday Morning Meeting:

My mom…

  • Was born and raised on the northwest side of Chicago and attended Catholic school there. (She will forever say the word “nun” with some disdain.)
  • Lost her mother to pancreatic cancer when she was a freshman in college; afterward, she dropped out to help at home with her younger siblings.
  • Became the first flight attendant instructor without a college degree at United Airlines by walking into her boss’s office and insisting she could do it, back when female employees were weighed and had to be single.
  • Earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s in Psychology while raising three children. She now works with mentally disabled adults and runs her own consulting business.
  • Forced us to sit and wait on the stairs Christmas morning until she’d made her first cup of coffee.
  • Loves ham. And also Red Hots.
  • Let us take one “mental health day” off school per semester, even as young children, way before anyone knew what the hell that was.
  • Used to pull pantyhose down over her head and chase us like a zombie, groaning, “I’m not your mother…”
  • Left surprise presents on our beds.
  • Attended all my softball games.
  • When I was 10, told me I could pick the new paint color for my bedroom, then tried to convince me that purple wasn’t a good color because it “makes people drowsy”; she painted the walls mint green. (Sorry, Mom, had to include that one.)
  • Cannot tell a story. Cannot. Tell. A. Story. (Neither can I, which is why I write them instead of speak them.)
  • Once cried while we decorated the Christmas tree because “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” came on and it was her mother’s favorite song.
  • Once cried many times. (She’s a crier, though she cries with a look of apology—“Ohhhh, here I go again!”)
  • Ran, arms flailing, into the middle of a fight in which a boy was getting beaten up, then followed the boy home to make sure his mother knew he was having a hard time and needed support.
  • Leaves a positive comment on almost every one of my blog posts, purposely in a manner that it’s unclear she’s my mother.
  • Hosts our family for dinner many Sundays, and buys me free-range, organic meat (and makes sure I know it).
  • Pretends that offering my children three desserts (not a choice of three—three) is normal.
  • Simply cannot, for all her intelligence, pronounce “Netflix”; to her it will always be “Netflex.”
  • Taught me to laugh at myself (one of my favorite qualities in anyone).
  • Taught me to take myself seriously (one of my favorite qualities in myself).
  • Passed on to me her love of music, history, nature walks, back tickles, laughing, and tradition. Also her short legs and square feet. But I still love her.

Happy Mother’s Day.

She also dislikes having her photo taken, so here she is in 1948--68ish with Santa.

She also dislikes having her photo taken, so here she is in 1948-ish with Santa.

20 thoughts on “Meet: My Mom

  1. Happy mothers day!! Having lost my mom 10 years ago, this made me think of her as we near this special day.

  2. Happy Mother’s Day to you and your Mom! Love ya both and have very fond memories of hanging at your house with you and your mom!

  3. Well, that brought me to tears. We are so lucky to have her in our lives! I will never forget the nylon monster “game.” I still run as fast as I can up those stairs for fear she will return.

  4. Reblogged this on True STORIES. and commented:

    I saw my mother today and then came upon this old post. It gives a pretty good summation–though nowhere near exhaustive–of who she is.

    Three years later, three more years of being a mother myself, and now I can add some important things to it, things I recognize as so very mothering:

    –She dove fearlessly into the world of BRCA surgeries, going last (after me and my sister) so she could care for us through our difficult recoveries.
    –She once waved a cheerful goodbye to me and my sister as we drove off on a three-week road trip across the country by ourselves, and only told us once we got home that it was the worst three weeks of her life.
    –She is the first person my sister calls when there’s a rabid raccoon in her yard, the first person my brother calls when he is sick, and the first person I call when one of my children is sick and I’m unsure what to do.

    Happy Mother’s Day, every day.

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