Yesterday, my mom got up early and drove 25 miles to come “sit” me and my kids. Lately, everyone in this pox’ed household has been snotty, feverish, coughing and simply all ’round icky-poo. It was time to round up everybody and go see the doctor. As we head to the doctor’s office, at 11 a.m. on a Wednesday morning, we pass 40-50 people, clad in black, standing outside of a church. My mom goes: “Ooh, look: Someone’s getting married!”

This says a couple of things about her:

1. She probably wouldn’t do too well as a crime scene investigator. (“What a FABULOUS red colour!!”)
2. Her initial interpretation of things is positive.

I once saw a program on Animal Planet about a chimpanzee and her baby. I noticed that the zoo-keeper loudly praised the mother chimp when she “mothered” the babe; showed it the ropes (literally and metaphorically!), groomed it, nursed it, etc. And at some point, the zoo-keeper said: “If they have had a good mother, they become good mothers.” I thought of that zoo-keeper the other day, when my 5-year old regained his breath, wiped his eyes and said: “Mom, How DID you actually become so good at making me laugh?”

The answer is: My momma taught me that.

Is it stored in the body, this knowledge? Is it my suppressed memory of having my toes counted with a little pull in each toe that makes me do the same to my kids? Or is that an official game that everyone knows?

After a parent-teacher-conference the other day, I gave my mom the equivalent of phone-sex, grandma-version, when I called her up and retold all the praise we had gotten for our miraculous boy. She just ate it up, and laughed, and agreed, and in several instances took over the conversation to elaborate on the praise. Before hanging up the phone, I asked her if she would please apologize in advance from me to her Bridge-buddies, who I knew would have endure hours of discourse on the subject-matter. I knew this because when we celebrated my dad’s 70th birthday, I meet many of their friends, whom I usually only hear about, or have met once or twice. So people, practically unknown to me, would come up to me and say: “How is that horrendous diaper-rash, is his booty better? Did the zinc ointment help?? ” Oh, her poor friends. I hope they retaliate with long stories about their hemorrhoids and bunions.

So, I am thankful for mother, who was a good role model. Not only as a mother but also as a woman. She is FEARLESS!

She spent two years in Paris when she was in her early 20’s ( 40-some years ago) and this experience has since enabled her to speak EVERY Roman language on the planet. When in Italy, she orders for the whole table – in “Italian”, whilst flirting with the waiter a little bit. In Spain, she books the room and comments on everyday life to the people in the street – in “Spanish”. Now, German grammar is not for cry babies but those German’s I’ve seen exposed to one of my mother’s long explanations in “German” don’t care if the case isn’t right – they appreciate her for trying!

She might not know what the hell she is doing, but she is making an effort! People appreciate that.

Once, my brother was discussing some guy’s stunning mansion with my mom.

She goes: “Yes, it is simply amazing – he has a 360 degree view of the river!”
My brother goes: “Well, not 360 degrees; that would mean he lived on an island!”
My mom shrugs, and goes: “Oh well, I’ve never been too good at that whole percentages-thing!”

Funny, how things that used to mortify me about my mom when I was 16, I now think is cool.

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