Hey Mama, Say Mama

I have only slight confidence in the USPS getting my Mother’s Day card to Boston by delivery time on Saturday, and so I’m going to try to make up for my negligence by front- and back-loading the Mother’s Day celebration.

My mom’s pretty great. She grew up in Illinois, moved to New Jersey to finish high school, spent her college years at Duke (when the drinking age was 18, which I learned when I tried to catch her in underage drinking when she told me a story about freshman year), went to Boston University for law school, worked back down south for a little while and then settled in the Boston area. She and my dad traveled a lot and took their time before having me, and I’ve always known I was a very wanted and planned-for first child. Which is, you know, nice to know.

My mom has a lot of good stories. She got her driver’s license in Glen Ellyn, IL and then had to give up driving in NJ after they moved because, according to New Jersey’s laws, she was too young to drive. She took the test over again (and passed, of course). She and her friends at Duke would watch zombie movies on the big screen and then creep each other out while walking home in the woods. She was a tomboy but also a looker (still is, that). And oh yeah, she went from being the general consul of her company to also being one of the vice presidents, proving to me by example that ladies should be able to do pretty much anything.

The biggest fight I can ever remember getting into with my mom was about whether or not I could watch a particular episode of “Sister, Sister.” Seriously, this was the most we fought. I don’t even remember why this was so important to me (no Hulu or DVRs at the time) or why I wasn’t allowed to watch, but for some reason it seemed like a big enough deal for me to go upstairs and lock myself in the bathroom. Not sure what I thought this would accomplish. In the end, I didn’t see the episode, and I’m pretty sure I emerged before my mom bothered fetching me.

I call her Maman, Mum, Mata-ji, and pretty much whatever else I feel like. She calls me “Lo” or “Lo-lo.” She makes beer in our basement. She has a garden, she loves to read non-fiction, she’s taken up kayaking, and she teaches kindergarteners how to read in her spare time. To keep herself busy in retirement, she decided to learn how to work at H&R Block on taxes. She was the treasurer for a world film festival in our town for several years. She does a ton of cool things without seeming to realize how cool they are, or how cool she is. So I’d like to say: Mom. You’re pretty darn cool.

Happy Mother’s Day, mere mata-ji. Aapki beti ko aap bahut atchchha lagatha hai. Your daughter likes you very much. On top of the required loving and stuff.

Have a home brew on me!


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