Awwwwwwwww...Moms! We all have one and many of us have the pleasure of being one. I've met many a mom in my lifetime. There are cool moms, sweet moms, stern moms, and cuddly moms. All kinds of moms. And then there is mine. Sigh.
When I was three years old, my mother signed me up for a beauty pageant stock full of buxom young women. At a car race. The results were based on audience vote and needless to say, I did not win. My mother was a bit huffy afterward and I heard her mutter that the girl who won had stood at the entrance gate promising all the men that she would sleep with them if they would vote for her. I wasn't sure what it meant, but given Mom's tone, I assumed it did not mean that actual sleeping would be involved.
When I was very young Mom and I were on our way to a nearby city. Mom had the petal to the metal and soon there were flashing lights behind us. Mom screamed at me to "Put your head between your legs! Put your head between your legs!" I did as I was told and heard my mother (in an exaggerated, panicked voice) tell the officer that she was sorry, but she was rushing her (very) sick daughter to the emergency room. He let her go, after offering to escort her there. Mom declined, saying that she would slow down. I was the compliant child with my head so far between my knees that my lower back started hurting, but I knew better than to get up before I was told to do so!
I rather enjoyed my fourth grade year. I specifically remember that as the time that Mom introduced me to pantyhose and eye makeup. I was the first in my class to wear either and I felt very sophisticated. Girls would come up to me and demand to know if I really wore hose and makeup and I would dip into my purse and produce my eye compact. We had to glue pebbles onto a board and I chose to use the pantyhose cardboard that kept my hose intact, in large part to prove that I really did wear them. All with Mom's blessing. A bit inappropriate, but I gained a lot of admiration because of it!
I was scarred for life in fifth grade. Parent-teacher conferences were scheduled and students were not supposed to attend. I guess my classmate, Kevin Zizelman, did not get the memo because he went with his mother and saw my mom. The next day he asked me "How come every time I see your mom her hair is a different color?" Oh, the embarrassment! I went home and begged my mother to please, please, PLEASE never color her hair again!
A few years later, Mom, Grandma, and I went shopping for the day, again in a nearby city. Mom had called in sick, which was not unusual. Her headaches were rampant and legendary. There was a funeral home that we always drove past and commented on because it had a round design. We all wondered what it looked like inside. On this particular day, Mom pulled into the parking area without warning. She said not a word as she exited the car. Grandma and I didn't know what was going on until she came out a few minutes later. She clutched an obituary card like she had just been handed the Holy Grail. SUCCESS! She needed it for work to prove that she really was at her Uncle's funeral. She told us "I don't know if this man is black, white, or sky-blue-pink, but he just became my Uncle." Grandma and I were positively MORTIFIED and admonished her all the way home. I guess she had taken one too many sick days and it was time for a "funeral" day.
She wore her shorts too short and was constantly dying her hair. She is likely responsible for my makeup, perfume, and especially my lipstick obsessions. However, she did teach me to stand up for myself and not to let people run over or take advantage of me. She was and remains a scrappy little thing! When I heard that someone had been arrested at the Black Friday sales last fall, my first thought was "Sweet Jesus in Heaven, please let it not be my mother!"
I once told my best friend from childhood that when she met her maker, I was going to inscribe her tombstone with "What a long, strange trip it's been".
She lives hundreds of miles away, but when I had oral surgery last year and was walking down the hall towards the operating room, I told the nurse "I want my mommy". We only have one, folks. She may be flawed and far from perfect, but no one and I mean NO ONE loves you like your mother!
Happy Mother's Day, Mom! This one's for you!