today is my mom's birthday. hence the obnoxious, and totally joking, post title.
since it's a new blog, i haven't talked much about her. mama raised me on her own, with some help from my grandparents, but mostly on her own. that, in and of itself, ought to tell you how amazing she is. she worked full-time, finished her degree, and made a life for me that taught me how to be all that she was--fiercely independent, committed to what's right, kind and generous, and a ridiculously hard worker.
i was not always the ball of sunshine and light that i always am now. (ha. that was a joke. hahahahaha. you can laugh now.) i was a tough teenager, not because i got into fights or drugs or crime, but because i was moody and a typical teenage girl. i did what i was supposed to do, but i did it with a splash of pretty serious attitude. i rolled my eyes a lot, thought my mom was crazy, and believed the tragedies in my life (oh NO! the boy doesn't like me!) topped the angst scale.
it's only been in the past few years that i have realized, perhaps because i've really had to live ON.MY.OWN. and be an actual adult, how much my mom did (and does) every day. while she was stressed out at times, she never gave up. while she wanted to pelt me with olives sometimes because of my attitude (and probably still does...), she worked hard to learn how to best deal with me and to understand what made me tick. she's a model to me of patient endurance. i hope i am that wise as a mother someday.
she is extraordinary.
my mom is a talented woman. she's ridiculously good at her job, and takes great pride in what she creates. she's also a closet artist. she doesn't get the chance to exercise it much (i hope she will take it up again sometime...), but when her creative juices get flowing, i always know that things will be more beautiful. she's the ultimate problem solver. she can visualize a room, a process, a situation and, after thinking about it from every angle, can come up with a solution. those solutions almost always work, but when they don't, she just starts back at square one. she doggedly pursues what she wants and doesn't give up--even when maybe she should for her own selfish reasons.
my mom has a big heart--she loves people and is loyal to them. she expects a lot but she gives a lot in return. those expectations, because they are loving in nature, have the amazing ability of teasing the best out of people. people who work for her or learn from her are better off for having been around her. she's faithful and true, even in the face of hard times. she loves the Lord and she does what's right, every day, even when it's hard. she takes care of the people that she loves in all of the ways that she can, whether they deserve it or not. i know that i have been a recipient of this many a time, and i am so grateful for it. she's always there when i need her. i hope i can even come close to being that kind of support to her.
she's funny--it's a silly kind of funny, but she's funny, and she loves to laugh. nothing makes her happier than to sit around the kitchen table with my family and laugh until we have to pee. (and we're usually laughing about some really stupid, random stuff. all the better in my mom's eyes.) she'll watch any disaster movie ever produced, even when they are SO BAD that they make your head hurt for all of your eye-rolling. she has an iPod full of showtunes, but she's gradually mixing in some newer stuff thanks to iTunes.
she's adventurous in her own way, although she'll say that she likes things the same. that's true--she likes routine and things that she can count on, but she's also brave enough to face the scary stuff in life. as a breast cancer survivor, she'd have to be. i think she's probably one of the scrappiest people i know--and, from me, that's a huge compliment.
if i were there, i would bake her my famous strawberry cake, make some yummy chicken enchiladas, and we'd have a fun movie night. we'd make jokes about how old we're getting and then do something ridiculously immature to assure ourselves that we aren't old at all.
we would laugh at stupid silly disaster movies and plot our christmastime domination of the movie theater. we would hang out, and no one would think about the work they had to do or how much they had to face the next day. we would hit the pause button on life, which is so hard to do nowadays, and celebrate the fact that she's the best mom in the whole world and a darn awesome lady as well.
but instead, i sent her a card that i hope will get there today. i called and sang to her voicemail, and then talked to her for a few minutes as well. she told me all about her week-long plan of birthday celebration (taking a page from my book!) and i am so excited that she is being honored the way she deserves to be. i'm even more proud that she's choosing to allow those around her to shower her with love rather than fading into the background the way she normally does. if anyone deserves the spotlight, she does.
i'll email her the link to this blog and hope she clicks on it, so that she'll know that on this day, the day that she was born, i'm awfully glad she was. not because it meant that i'd get to be here (for which i am very grateful--sorry for the three days of labor, mama! and the 11 pounds!), but because knowing her has made my life richer, better, and much more joyful.
happy birthday, mama. musicboy and i love you very much and we're very grateful that you are who you are, doing what you're doing and being exactly all that you are meant to be.