Today I feel like the man who stood at a swanky affair with glass raised and loudly stated, “For all the years I’ve spent in the arms of another man’s wife.” When everyone gasped, he simply added, “cheers to my Mother.”
Today I honor her, because it is her birthday. If you didn’t know it, my mother was sainted on December 11, 1960 when she gave birth to a baby girl. In her life, she would accomplish a feat few would undertake or want. She would give birth to a baby girl then ten months later give birth to twin boys. Three children in a year. I cringe when people say you and your sister are chunky, but your brother is not. Yes I know he’s over six feet tall and thin as a rail. It is after this comment that I usually offer the most plausible explanation; my mother fed me and my sister while Dad fed my brother.
So, why am I convinced of her elevated saint status; as if having three children in a year isn’t enough? The proof is how busy we kept her! Distracted outside for mere moments, my brother and I at the age of two took advantage of her absence by liberally slathering a complete tube of Desitin (cod liver oil diaper rash cream) all over our bodies. We didn’t forget to generously plaster the hair on our heads either. Looking like two pygmy pot belly pigs, it took a few weeks of intense washing with lots of soap to free the last vestiges of this oily axle grease knock-off, off our little bodies. My mother was forever sold on how effective that diaper cream performed. Tubes can still be found in her medicine cabinet and it wouldn’t surprise me if she purchased stock in the company.
Aside from her many talents, she is described in her high school senior yearbook as a “great cook, fun-loving, and mischievous.” I’m convinced a lot can be determined about an individual simply by their laugh. My mother’s laugh is like her Dad’s, a full on belly laugh. Anyone nearby can’t help but be drawn into her revelry.
Growing up in northern New England, it was the highlight on our way to our grandparents home in the shadows of Mt. Washington, to swim along the shores of Lake Chocorua, New Hampshire. Though the water terrified me as a small child, my mother loved to swim. To minimize my apprehension, she would hoist me on her back and glide through the water like a swan. It was then that I found I could finally enjoy life because she lifted me above my fears. Some things never change.
I could regale numerous stories about her mischievousness but if she found out I shared them, it would make my Christmas vacation at her house unbearable. Besides, she still has tubes of Desitin in the cupboard, it could be payback time.
Happy Birthday Mom.