I’m taking a break from my work to wish my sweet, lovely mom, Kay, a Happy Birthday! I started by searching the web for appropriate “mom/mothering” quotes. I came up empty. Oh, there are thousands on the Internet. Most of them are quite nice, inspiring even. Perfectly appropriate. Unfortunately, they just seemed…hollow. Not right. Then it occurred to me. “Duh! You’re a writer. Doing a ventriloquist act with someone else’s words is not good enough for your mother. Do it yourself.”
So here I am, feebly attempting to explain how wonderful she is in (almost) every way. I decided to add that ‘almost’ qualifier because no one is perfect. Not even my mom. That’s alright, because even her imperfection is inspiring. When I was growing up, her humanity empowered me. It still does. She’s stronger than she knows, more beautiful. She grew up at a time when suburban assimilation was expected; she raised me to be my weird, larger-than-life self. To revel in my uniqueness, because that uniqueness was my ticket to an interesting life.
She’s always been fun (and funny!) and open. She’s adventurous but won’t admit it, even when she’s in the middle of doing something totally awe-inspiring. She’s wickedly creative when it comes to this thing called life; always has been, always will be. She’s shy, like me, but passionate and vocal about her convictions (hmm, also like me). She gave me my love of reading and tea and art and half of the other important, beautiful things I hold so dear. My mom, this woman named Kay, has made it possible for me to look in the mirror and say, “I like who I am.” It’s true: I like who I am. But I love her. Mom, you are the best: the best parent, the best friend, the best role model I could ever hope for. You still inspire me. Happy Birthday!
Also born on 25 April: Al Pacino, Ella Fitzgerald, Oliver Cromwell, Edward R. Murrow, Renee Zellweger, William J. Brennan, Jr., Edward II and Guglielmo Marconi (which is odd, because I was born on Tesla’s birthday).