|My beautiful mom (from
left) circa 1967 with me and RJ; with my firstborn and "Dirty Gertie"
circa 1985; and with me at my firstborn's wedding circa 2001.|
Mothers are, by their very nature, self-effacing. The simple act of having a child changes them forever. It takes the love they once lavished on themselves and directs it at their children. This is more true of some mothers than others, but for my mother, it is 110 per cent true. She has been there for my brothers and I in every possible way, both when we deserved it and when we (mostly I) did not. She made a loving home for us, made home-cooked meals every single day, greeted us after school with toast and tea and conversation, brought us soup in bed when we were sick, encouraged our ambitions no matter how unlikely it was that we would ever achieve them. She did all of this while working full-time as an author of more than 100 books. (I repeat: More than 100 books.)
As a kid, you think your parents are embarrassing and unhip and possibly a little less smart than you are. Because you are a kid, you try not to be like them. You do not realize yet that the smartest thing you could possibly do would be to try to be exactly like them.
Because you are a kid, you don't realize that wonderful parents are a blessing not everyone has...and that you will not have forever.
I am no longer a kid. Not by a long shot. The good thing about that is that, with every passing year, I gain a deeper realization of how lucky I am to have such a wonderful mother. And how precious our remaining time together is.
So Mom, from the bottom of my heart, I wish you the happiest of birthdays today. We won't mention the number (EXCEPT TO SAY IT'S A BIGGIE!!!), but we will celebrate it in grand style. Have a wonderful day. No one deserves it more than you do.