Last week what would have been Mom’s 80th birthday passed.
On the day I didn’t do much more than to think of her a little more often than usual as I watched her grandchildren play.
I wondered what she would say about 3B’s red hair–where in the family did that come from? Or Jewel’s fierce independence–I believe I know where that came from, although Mom might turn blame on her Mom.
And what would Mom say about how we’re raising them? She’d be nervous that they’re both vegetarians, of course, but what about what we say to 3B and Jewel? What would Mom say about the phases they go through?
Would Mom be as delighted as we are in their shenanigans? Of course she would be. She’d probably have a hard time stopping laughing after hearing me tell 3B that he was being melodramatic.
Would it touch Mom as much as it does me to hear Jewel singing songs to 3B to help him calm down? Jewel had to go through two rounds of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star and Down in the Valley, but she stuck with it, and he did calm down.
I know that Mom would tell us certain things: relax, it’s supposed to be hard, there’s no right way to do it. And I know that Mom would bite her tongue when she saw things we were doing that she didn’t agree with. As she would say about our kids, she would say about us: You have to let them fall down if they’re going to learn to climb high.
She was constant about things like that. And so I know that she’d still want to see me shave my beard…but not my head…and certainly not my legs. But she’d laugh about it and love to know that you all made me do it. And she’d be delighted with 3B’s running commentary on it as I did it.
And she’d contribute to the cause as well, because cancer stole Mom’s best friend–my Dad.
So, as I reflect back on Mom’s birthday, and as Dad’s birthday approaches, please help me make my mom happy while you embarrass me…
I know Mom would thank you.
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