The busiest day of the year for accountants is April 15. The busiest day of the year for retailers is the day after Thanksgiving. And the busiest day of the year for phone companies? Mother's Day.
It's easy to scoff at Hallmark holidays, but it's entirely appropriate for us to set aside a day to reach out and tell dem dat birthed us we love them. I'm as guilty as anyone at neglecting to do this (last year I was particularly bad)* but despite this (or perhaps because of this) I've accepted Kara's invitation to say a few words about the mother's in our lives. I know you're thinking, "Gosh, Tony, what can you say about mothers that Mr. T hasn't already?" And the answer is...not much, and I've never been good at sappy stuff anyway. But I'll do my best.
There are actually two mothers I want to share my thoughts on. The first, of course, is my own mother, a lively and good-hearted woman who raised four kids at night while teaching hundreds during the day. I was the first born, and I'm told (by her) that I was born on the hottest day of the year, and that she nearly died giving birth to me. She repeatedly read the story of the Three Billy Goats Gruff to me (because I liked the troll) and was always patient in helping me learn. That's why I'm so smart. She took me bowling with her, let me play in the teacher's lounge, and indulged (some would say over-indulged) my sweet tooth. My mother was always incredibly loving, and we always felt like we were the most important people in the world when we were with her. As I've grown older our relationship has matured, and I've grown to appreciate her in different ways. She tends to create drama in every situation, and I get frustrated at how she treats everything outside our hometown like a hostile nation (except Las Vegas) But we're friends as well as family, and even though our attitudes and opinions don't always match up (sorry, Mom, but I'm never using a playpen) I still respect the way she approaches everything with kindness. Thanks for everything, Mom...you're the best!
My Mom had help with all those kids, and especially with me, thanks to my Grandma. She passed away a few years ago, but it would be remiss of me not to take the opportunity to say a few things about her, too. While my Mom worked my Grandma would take care of me, and I loved her dearly. She immigrated to America from Italy when she was a child, and raised my Mom and her sister on a truck farm outside of Spokane. By the time I was born most of the farm was gone, but she had an enormous vegetable garden she'd spend hours in. Some of my fondest memories are at her house, with it's giant player-piano, the Frosted Flakes in the bottom cabinet (very convenient for a pudgy child), and the Yahtzee games we would play. We'd always spend Christmas Eve in front of her fireplace, eating sticky Italian cookies which I think are pronounced "krathadadas" but are almost certainly not spelled that way. And her hugs...I'll always remember the immense bear hugs she gave me. You may never feel as safe in your life as you are in your grandmother's arms.
I like to think I'm so well-adjusted now because I had two such wonderful people in my life who made me feel valued, supported and loved. I owe both my Mom and my Grandma the deepest, most hear-felt gratitude in the world. This day (whenever it is...it's in a week or so, right?) is for you.
* Ha! I'll bet you didn't know I had a blog before this one! Don't worry...you didn't miss anything.