Today is my mom’s birthday, and a time to remember how lucky I am to have her. I don’t like to admit this, but she’s really smart and funny and best of all a good sport. I mean, when you’re lucky enough to have a Jewish mother, you will never go hungry and you will never be without comedy material.
But today I want to give all that a break and really honor her birthday. Unfortunately, that would be boring and not at all funny, and it would make me look bad. So I’m walking a fine line here. Let’s start with some highlights.
My mom can be a little over the top when it comes to her kids and grandkids. Way back in the olden days, I was at my business school graduation and my buddies and I were hamming it up, wearing shades, goofing off. Then suddenly my friend pointed into the stands and said “wow, who’s that crazy lady blowing kisses?” and I said “That’s no lady! That’s my mom!” Good times.
My mom has occasionally questioned whether she brought the right baby home from the hospital. First of all, I don’t like Chinese food, which is highly suspect in a Jewish family. I don’t like to paint my nails, do girly girl stuff. My mom thinks that leaving the house without putting on lipstick is a crime that should be punishable by five years of hard labor at Merle Norman.
Thank goodness for my niece; apparently the girly gene hits every other generation, and they have a nice sparkly time together.
My mom’s nails have been wet for at least 50 years straight now. She constantly walks around holding up her hands like she’s being robbed. I have never witnessed her actually gripping a steering wheel. She gently rests her palms on the wheel and spreads out all her fingers to be sure there are no Nail Related Incidents. I don’t know how she does it, but she can even put on lipstick with wet nails…because she’s sure as hell not walking around without lipstick.
If the world suddenly starts to fall apart, I can tell you this—stick close to my mom and you will never run out of Caffeine Free Diet Coke. She usually has at least a case or two in the trunk of her car, and though she won’t admit it I’m pretty sure she has a whole vault somewhere with hundreds of cases.
The contents of my mom’s trunk are actually quite remarkable. Not just beverages as noted above, but also straws, some cans of Slim Fast (for emergencies), a dozen sweaters and jackets, a gross of umbrellas, dozens of something or other that she found on sale, a couple of folding chairs, several pairs of shoes and a couple tins of cookies in case she is caught off guard and needs a little gift.
I want everyone to get to know my mom, so I decided to do a little interview:
Jill: Mom, what is the most important thing in life?
Mom: Everyone should live and be well. That’s all I pray for.
Jill: Ok, that’s great, now…
Mom: I mean that’s all I want for all of you. To live and be well and love each other
Jill: Thanks mom, got it. Moving right along, tell me about your kids
Mom: They should all live and be well, that’s all I ask
Jill: When your friends ask about your kids, what do you say?
Mom: Well, CJ is a doctor and umm you should all live and be well
Jill: But don’t your friends want to know what your other kids do for a living?
Mom: Yes, but really all that matters is that you should live and be well
Jill: Okey dokey. What do you enjoy doing in your golden years?
Mom: I enjoy seeing all of you live and be well
Jill: What do you enjoy besides your kids and grandkids?
Mom: Well I do love getting manicures. Then I can tell everyone that all I want is for my family to live and be well and they should only be so lucky to have the kind of family I have. You should all just live and be well.
Jill: Mom, is there anything else in the world you care about besides all of us living and being well all over the place? Cause that’s pretty much played out now
Jill: Thanks mom, I love you
Mom: I love you too. You should only live and be well.
Happy birthday to the best mom I ever had. May she live and be well!