This is my mom. Over 26 years ago, this woman gave me life while my dad, ever the sentimentalist, ran back and forth between her (us) and the waiting room to watch the Jets game.
One of my earliest memories is of my mom in a long red trench coat walking up the driveway of my grandma’s house, where I stayed while she went to work as a fancy auditor. I never looked forward to leaving Grandma’s, since she did Richard Simmons workouts with me and gave me peach cobbler every day. (My grandma is also an amazing lady and deserves her own blog post, but I have to stay on point. She’ll understand.) But when I got older and started going to school, my mom was the person I couldn’t wait to see. She gave up her day job for a Day job–staying at home with three kids and volunteering at our elementary school. She ruled that lunch program with an iron fist, and I would count down the minutes until lunchtime, when I’d be able to see her blonde head from across the cafeteria and immediately feel at ease because I knew I’d get the right Pudgie’s chicken order. She was also there when I got lost in the Touch Tunnel at the Liberty Science Center, and when a seagull pooped on my head during Field Day in 1993, and again when a pelican pooped on my head in 2012. (In the latter case, she did far less consoling than she had after the first incident.)
As recently as a couple years ago, I fancied my mom and I as a sort of odd couple. After all, she is a staunch Fox News viewer, while I prefer to carry on my life as though sequesters do not exist and Rand Paul is just some lovable farmer in a John Steinbeck novel. She orders the same thing–a bacon cheeseburger–every time she eats at a restaurant, and I like to keep things fresh by ordering a different kind of chicken sandwich and side salad at each place I dine. Whereas balance sheets make her giddy, I still can’t wrap my mind around percentages. And while Mom sports the signature Long Island accent (“Happy Eastah!”), I have been asked by many a guy at a bar if I am Eastern European. (I don’t think this had anything at all to do with how I talk, but still.) In my mind, my mom and I were two distinct personalities sharing only a last name and nose shape.
It’s only been in the last year or so that I’ve come to realize that this is not true at all. I am my mom. Maybe it happened gradually over time, or maybe all at once when I decided not to vote for Obama again, or maybe I’ve been like her all along. But the fact remains–I am my mom through and through, and even though she won’t believe me, I can’t think of a better person to be like.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. I guess I should offer to help you with the shower curtain now.