It’s not my mom’s birthday until May, but I picked this post for The Mommy Mess’ Going Green series because I unknowingly upset Little Mama while I was in Jamaica. See.. I have this habit of sticking my foot in my mouth and while I’ve gotten much better at it as I’ve gotten older, I’m still not completely cured. In my 500th post, I made reference to “wanting to be a better parent than mine were” and “being more involved than my mom was with me”. While I think that it’s true that every generation strives to be a different parent than theirs, that’s not how I phrased it and that’s not how it came across and I hurt her feelings and I feel bad about that. I have a great mom who deserves to have the world know about all her positives – not the one paragraph that I absentmindedly threw out there for viewing.
Today is Little Mama’s birthday. I won’t tell you how old she is because no matter how old I am or the fact that I’m considerably larger than she is, she’d kick my tail if I did so. And if you’ve ever met my mom, you know I’m not too far from the truth there. At 5’1 she’s a pistol and one not to be reckoned with. I say quite often that Cassie is just like her – small but mighty. What she (they) lack in size, they make up for in might.
Growing up, I spent many summers away which was my parents way of not having me home alone for 2 1/2 months. Several of those years were spent outside of Baltimore with my Aunt Jean and Uncle Chuck. A few of the trips, my Grandmother Lawrence and I would head up on a Greyhound bus but after she passed away, I was carted up by car. One summer my parents, along with their best friends at the time, decided to drive me up and drop me off on their way to Canada (?). So, here we are – the 5 of us are tooling up Highway 301 (my dad always took the back route “It’s faster!”), I’m in the back seat with Judy and Larry when all of a sudden we come up on this other car. Before I know what’s happening, my mother rolls down the window, LEANS OUT the window (at 65 MPH) and starts screaming at the guy in the car next to us “GET OUT OF THE WAY YOU ROAD HOG!”. I can still remember being in complete shock and awe, thinking she had lost her mind and that we were about to get killed by this guy. Turns out it was just some guy she worked with who happened to be on the same path as us. What are the odds…
It’s moments like those that I love. She’s a quiet person who doesn’t particularly like being the center of attention or around a lot of people. I used to worry that she wasn’t having fun but finally realized that she was just that way. She’s reserved and doesn’t show her emotions – sometimes to a fault which can be tricky when you have a daughter like me who airs everything and then moves on. Since my dad passed away 4 years ago, out relationship has evolved to a completely different level. My dad was always the one who “conversed” so we’ve had to figure out how to talk to each other without him as the ringleader. We’ve had some bumps learning how to do that, but I think we’re finally at a point where we get each other. She tickles me with the things that she says and she’s a good sport (for the most part) for my teasing. I’ve finally realized that I’m really all the family that she has and have promised us both that it’s a role that I take seriously.
I’m so proud of how she’s come into herself since my dad passed. She travels, she works out at the gym, she does yard work and she’s even dating. This woman who used to be so passive and sit in the background to my dad’s very large personality has butterflied into this magical creature that just amazes me. I never know what’s going to pop out of her mouth when she calls me and breathlessly says “Guess what?!”.
So, on this 16th day of May – I want to wish a loving Happy Birthday to the woman who put me on this earth and who I love more than anything. No matter what ribbings I may give her.
I love you Mom. Thank you for all that you are and I’m grateful for the relationship and friendship that we have.
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