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