Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Birthday, Mom!

It's Halloween and I had planned to do a post on how DH and I typically spend Halloween. But it's my mom's birthday so she'll just have to deal with being the subject of my latest blog post. A bumpy trip down memory lane.

When we were young, I remember my mom used to make the neatest Halloween costumes for us. Even if I was creative and a seamstress, I doubt I could manage to pull off some of the costumes she whipped up for us. She used to dress as a witch and show up at our school with this big black kettle of smoking witch-brew. Before I was old enough for school, she even made a mini-me witch outfit exactly like hers for when I would assist her in my brothers' classes. Not many moms did that then and I'm not so sure many go to that extreme even now.

As with all the holidays, she always seemed to enjoy helping make Halloween special for us. Not an easy task since we lived in the country; walking to the next house to trick-or-treat was not an option, so she would drive us house to house. Oh yeah, and it's Iowa – where you usually have to bundle up in a winter jacket just to survive the night of candy caching. It wasn't until I got older that I realized that each year she had to sacrifice her birthday because Halloween is really a kids' day. I'm not sure if she has ever celebrated her birthday. Even as a Grandma, she always seems to show up to see the kids trick-or-treat. Maybe that's just how she likes to spend her birthday.

I never claimed to be a good daughter – after all, I was a teenage girl during part of my life… and an Italian redhead. Need I say more? So today, I'll point out a few of my memories.

When I was only a few years old, I remember my mom making an Easter bunny cake to celebrate my dad's birthday. It was the cutest cake with the licorice whiskers and all. I used to harp about it every year when my birthday just "barely" missed Easter. In one of my teenage years, my birthday DID fall on Easter Sunday – low and behold, my mom made the cake for me. It's been a long time, but I don't recall dropping any hints about it. I was a teenager, I'm pretty sure I didn't ask for a bunny birthday cake. But I have to say, that was one of the best cakes I ever had. Wonder if my eyes lit up when she unveiled it, because it was extremely special that she would remember something as trivial as a bunny cake. Licorice whiskers and all. I loved it.

When I was in high school, I recall a gift certificate for a color analysis at a charm and modeling school. I was young and didn't know what the paper was that she had wrapped up. It wasn't clothes or makeup, it wasn't electronic, it wasn't anything concrete – it was a piece of paper. Kids didn't get gift certificates in those days. Unappreciative little sh*t that I was – doubt that I ever said thanks. After I had the analysis done and got a lesson on how to properly apply makeup, I realized how cool a gift it was. I STILL use the same makeup theories and techniques to this day and occasionally get compliments on how my makeup looks natural. (That's on those days when I'm not rushing to apply it.)

Somewhere in those teenage years, I recall commenting on my brother trying to grow a beard or mustache. Although I remember it well, I'm not going to repeat the conversation. I'll just say that I looped my mom into it. Now that I'm in my late 30's, I realize that women at this age need to work to keep up our appearances. I think we all realize the necessity for a good pair of tweezers. At any rate, the sad look on my mom's face is imprinted in my brain – I really learned how harsh and hurtful such simple words and joking can actually be. For that, mom – I'm truly sorry.

On a happier note, I remember our first microwave being snuck into the kitchen via the deck… wow, that was a long time ago. One year, Santa got everyone in the family a pair of ice skates, and then we all actually used them TOGETHER. My folks both helped coach us at baseball and softball. And encouraged us at whatever we did. (and still do.) I had good parents and hope my girls eventually feel the same way.

I could go on and on but I'll wrap it up by saying "Happy Birthday, Mom. Thanks for all the good times and I'm sorry for all the rest. I love you."


  • gr

    Thanks Sis, brought tears to my eyes remembering those times. Ah the good ol days. Just wish you knew how good they were when you were going thru them. But paybacks are hell. We will be hated and cursed by our kids for the same things we did to our parents. But as you said, I just hope when they hit that magical age, they will appreciate everything we have done for them, just as we know know how GREAT our parents were for us.

    HAPPY B-DAY MOM!!!!!

    Love you
    Guy (aka your first and favorite kid) ;)

  • Anonymous

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  • Anonymous

    I have been your Mom's friend for a long time. My name is Lori.

    I am so impressed with your writing ability and your blog.

    You should be published!

    I love to write too. I have been published once. Well, several times if you count "letters to Editors". My Dad also writes and is published.

    I aspired to teach English as a young woman, won a full-paid college scholarship to Southern Illinois University, but got pregnant two months before I graduated high school. My parents said they would not support my college education at that point, so I married, had our daughter (who is now 43) and went on with life.

    It was during my stint with Northwester Bell that I met your wonderful Mom, and we've been good friends since. We've seen each other through a lot over the decades, as you can imagine. And this will continue for a long time, I hope.

    Life has dealt us a lot, and we try to support one another though it all. Your Mom told me about your blog, and I'm so glad I read it. I will be back again to read more. Keep on writing, as I feel it's great for your mind and spirit!