When my mom was younger, she got in big trouble at her Lutheran school because her paper about what she wanted to be when she grew up was about riding with the Hell’s Angels. She was a little cooler than the average middle schooler.
She rides a Harley. A few years ago, on one of her many motorcycle vacations with my dad, she was actually invited to join the famous motorcycle gang. She’s cooler than the average mom, too. So cool, in fact, that she turned them down. She doesn’t need a club to validate her.
She took me to see the Rolling Stones when I was 15.
When I was younger, I would get so frustrated with her. Because every time I wanted to whine about some great injustice perpetrated against me by some dumb jerk or another, she would ask the perfect questions that forced me to see things from their side. I just wanted her to say, “you’re right, she is a bitch.” But my mom knew better than that. Only legitimate gripes are allowed whining time in Cyndi’s Kitchen, and even those are to be kept brief. “That DOES suck, now what are you gonna DO about it?”
My mom’s kitchen will always feel like home. There will always be random catalogs, sales flyers, and newspapers to keep your hands busy and spark conversations. She will always make you something to eat. And she’ll never judge you when you eat 3 helpings of it.
My mom is always picking up something for someone here or there. She knows the value of practical stuff, and she’s not too embarrassed to give anyone underwear. If she notices your coat is not very warm, she’ll just happen to have found one you might want to have. And you don’t have to feel bad because it was always at least 6000% off. I think Lola was a year old before it dawned on me that diapers are NEVER on a BOGO sale, and all those packages she was giving me probably weren’t really “get one free” packs.
My mom doesn’t drink much; she gets a buzz off of one beer. Then she tells dirty jokes. No matter where she is or with whom. She doesn’t have to be drinking to do funny stuff though. She comes up with these elaborate plans to do things to make everyone laugh at gatherings. Sometimes they involve costumes. She’s not very easily embarrassed. And she never takes herself too seriously.
On Valentine’s day, my mom puts a heart sticker on everyone she sees and says “now you’ve got a heart on.” (If you know my mom and say that sort of fast, you’ll get her dirty joke.) On Veteran’s Day, she goes to the nursing home and gives each veteran a flag pin, a handshake, and sincere thanks.
My mom isn’t very demonstrative, and feelings just aren’t really something we do in my family. I honestly can’t remember the last time my mom hugged me or said I Love You. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve never, ever doubted it; her actions conveyed the message just fine. We just don’t have the usual sappy moments of mother/daughter tenderness. But now that I’ve had my own daughter, there are so many moments when I look at my precious little girl and am overwhelmed by unconditional love, and I think, my mom felt this way about me. And I’m so grateful for the mom I got.
You know how young women always say that they are so afraid to turn into their mothers? In my case, I could only HOPE to be so lucky.
She’s a neat lady! And tomorrow (Wednesday, March 7th) she is turning 60. I’m having the family over for dinner to celebrate, and if you wanted to leave her a birthday message in my comments section, I will show them all to her tomorrow evening (cause she will totally not read this otherwise). And I’ll bet she’ll get a kick out of it.