No, we don’t get to pick our mothers or our children, but it tends to work out surprising well — almost magically. None of us can imagine a life without our sainted mother. Or, oh, those angelic children. And that’s as it should be.
Sappy as it sounds, I lucked out in the mom lottery. She wasn’t as fortunate, but accepted her fate with a gracious equanimity I found a little heroic. You see, any numbskull would have been a better kid than I — with the possible exception of Lizzie Borden. Or a Menendez brother.
I was a garden-variety dweeb and my mother was a daunting figure. She was so smart it was intimidating and so pretty it was discouraging. Even worse, neither chromosome got passed along — not to me. I got her bad eyesight and crummy hair. Mostly, we shared the funny gene and, in that one area, I prevailed; I could make her laugh until she choked. Those moments of watching her gasp for air are among my fondest memories.
During phone calls she’d sometimes laugh so hard she was rendered speechless. There’d just be an abrupt and resounding silence …
Long seconds would tick by and I’d gloat in smug triumph. God, I miss those times. And her. She was such an easy audience. And I’m still kind of pissed she left, truth be told. So, in her great and glorious honor, a salute to mothers everywhere.
Happy Mother’s Day!
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