My mother once told me that she described her daughters to a friend like this, “Stacy looks at me like I’m a normal person; Lesley looks at me like I walk on water. I don’t know why.” There are a million reasons why, but one reason is that she has a good sense of humor…and I love making fun of her.
Her quirky ways pop up on Lettuce Share, and there’s a certain bonding property attached to snickering with your siblings about your parents. I once explained to my mother how she brought this teasing on herself by annually forcing my sister and me to untangle Christmas lights to Barbra Streisand singing Jingle Bells on speed. If you’ve never heard the rendition, just sing the song in your head and times the tempo by ten until your rushing the vowels out – jnglblls-jnglblls-jnglblls.
But to be more serious about my mother because today is her birthday, I truly believe she is the mother everyone should have. Cooper has a friend, Pedro. He’s a kid with nothing – his father left years ago; he lives in a bad neighborhood and attends an even worse school – yet he has great grades; he excels on both the wrestling and track teams. He’s respectful and smart; he saves every dollar he earns for college. Why? Because he has one thing going for him – a good mom.
I had that advantage in life also. My mother raised me with nothing but pure love. She was a single mother working full-time and attending college and law school part-time. I remember so many days and nights walking into the kitchen and seeing her head down studying away. We missed time together, which was difficult at points, of course. But somehow I have endless memories of plays, baseball games, Cabbage Patch adoptions, and everything else a little girl wants to remember. She told me, and I believed and still do believe, that she did it all for me.
She had so much going on in her life, but I always felt first. As a kid, it was all about Smurf gingerbread houses and New Kids on the Block tickets. But as an adult, after all her parental obligation had officially ended, she helped me get through college. She helped me get into my first home. She flew down to take care of me for a week when I had a very minor surgery a few years ago.
And to go back to the Smurf gingerbread house for a minute, when I was out-of-my-mind obsessed with them as a child, she baked me a two-story gingerbread house and cut up wrapping paper so there was a Smurf behind every window! I know mothers with half her workload that wouldn’t go buy a gingerbread house and do that.
I am so fortunate to be the daughter of such a smart and loving woman. I recognize that. That’s why I’ll always look at her like she walks on water. Through my eyes and memories, she does.
There we are looking our best at my Aunt Sandy’s wedding. Because it’s her birthday, I won’t tell you how long ago this picture was taken.