I called my mom early today. She lives in Ohio with my younger sister. They are both LEOs, one born on the 7th and the other on the 17th. Both of them are almost too kind for this world. My mother will leave an 80% tip on a table, and when I argue about it, she'll say "That waitress is a single mother..." and go into a detailed account of the woman's life/family/ problems etc... She has every stray cat on the block fed and sheltered at her home. (Which also applied to our runaway friends in high school or loser boyfriends-who she also took in and fed) She never bought herself anything when we were growing up, except maybe an occasional chocolate bar. She moved to the U.S. from Scotland when she was about 11 and has a mean sweet tooth. If you ever said in passing that you liked something, she'd sell the clothes off her back to make it yours. Her creativity is endless. She can knit, embroider, sew, replicate any T.V. guide cover, and put any miserable game or bike together. While my impatient father was swearing, she would be solving the problems effortlessly.
I like that when she was on the phone she would doodle patterns on envelopes and write THE END over and over. She was also the first person I ever witnessed blacking in all the teeth on magazine covers and giving celebs eye patches.
When Ohio was experiencing a blizzard and I was "too cool" to wear gloves and a hat outside at age 12...my father told me I couldn't leave the house, while my mother remained cool and said " Let her go..." Which I defiantly did-- only to sneak back in later and admit I needed them. She knew that by trying to hold us back from doing things would only make us want to more. When I had decided to run away from home at age 9 because I hated the entire family, she assisted me in my luggage choice and said I should go for the more light case- in case the roads got long. She also asked the important questions while packing like "Do you think you may need this warm coat too? Don't forget clean socks." She then led me to the door and said "Don't forget to keep in touch".
I only got as far as the back yard hill. Where I could look in on them resuming dinner activities without me. She never even rolled her eyes when later that night I snuck back upstairs and went to bed.
In the 6th grade, my teacher Mrs. Reed made us read Johnnie Tremain- where he apprentices with someone to learn how to make something. We were assigned to work at home with our mothers and bake a pie for the class. The best pie would win a prize.
When I told my mom, she said "We should do something totally unique and not really bake a pie at all, then she suggested we make a fabric pie. She then took a pie tin and glued satin cream fabric to the bottom and filled the pie with those deep red small curtain pom poms and cut satin into pretty pinking sheared strips woven on top like a fresh cherry pie. It looked real- and it won for most original.
IT's funny cause if you ever told her she was artistic she would say she really isn't good at anything.
In high school she always took me thrifting to find JAckie O- like two piece 60 suits and Pretty In Pink jewelry. She would always cover my tardiness to class with fake dermatogolist notes. She would fall in love every day in the 80's with a new "one hit wonder" from Safety Dance to One Night In Bangkok and buy the cassette tape. On route to the grocery store she would sing all the wrong words- for example-
Journey lyrics for Faithfully-- she would sing I'm forever yours Italy
Police Every Breath You take--- she'd sing I'm a pool hall ace-- instead of my poor heart aches.
The Go Gos-- Our Lips are Sealed ---AS Long as I see you.
You get the picture, right?
Anyway- I was just thinking about all that has happened in the years since we moved from that house, afer my parents messy divorce. She still remains sassy and quirky. My father has long since remarried, and yet I believe he never knew how to contain her. She can still get him to do pretty much anything. He was always so conservative and controlled- and she was so natural and free spirited that it baffled us as children how they ever married at all. Perhaps it was her Beatle mania mop top Vidal SASSOON haircut, or the mini bike she used to ride, or the way she was hard to impress.
I like to imagine that he was struck down by her inability to censor herself- that uncontrollable laugh and her honestly. Things he could never acquire.
Anyway- on this mother's day-I'm glad to have such a crazy mother