My mother did not believe in Hallmark Holidays, and so Mother’s Day nearly sped past me without notice now that she’s been gone for a decade; MPS’ pal B-4 has a lovely post up for his mom, and she sounds like a good egg and very similar to mine. He’s lucky that she’s still around. I miss both my parents in ways large and small.
On Saturdays, after Bugs Bunny was done I would be shoved out the door into the California sunshine with the admonishment not to return before lunch, “unless there is fire, death or insurrection.” The day I was returned home by the Fire Department, naked and covered in mud (and they hosed me off on our lawn on the main street of our small town with all the neighbors watching) after rescuing me from the mudflats in the local cemetery (the frogs were irresistible and would absolutely be the best torture for my older sister Ninegrain) was the day she stopped saying that little phrase. Oh, in case you are wondering: the mud pulled off my clothes when they winched me out of the drained pond, where I had sunk up to my neck. No one knew I had lost my clothes until the great hosing happened.
Mom was the den mother to all my pals growing up. She always planned on at least one extra place at the table, and she referred to my core set of buddies as “The Litter.” I would often come home from school (a trudge up a steep hill after school, probably several miles in the snow, if you catch my drift) only to find them pouring their hearts out to her, eating deli subs and gulping down soft drinks that she had bought for them. Then she would help us focus on homework, call various parents to let them know where their kids were. She taught us to carve pumpkins, spit watermelon seeds great distances, and notoriously, she taught us how to burp on command. She was the tomboy mom who earned their undying love and devotion.
Most of The Litter came from the parochial school where I was kicked out after about 2 weeks, (a family record) and so even though we went to different schools, we remained tight. Mom was invited to all of their weddings, and in one notable case to Officer Training School graduation on the east coast for one Littermate who lost his mother in grade school, and whom she loved more than all the others; this was the guy that she famously said that she would have jumped his bones if she was his age, and let me say for the record I have never felt more horrified in my entire life.
She taught me how to box, how to surf, to never use adverbs, how to pin a corsage on a girl’s Prom gown (“Don’t. Just don’t. Stop it.”), Martinis are always shaken and Manhattans are always stirred, and that kindness is better than smarts, which was very funny considering that she was the brains of the family.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. I suspect that the angels are shaking up a Martini and that the Saints are trying to impress you by spitting watermelon seeds for distance and accuracy.