Listen, I know it--Mother's Day--is problematic. But I'm going to go ahead and love on my mom, not that I need a special occasion for that, but on the other hand, a special occasion can't hurt:
1. She knows how to do things right. That goes for her hairstyle, her outfit, a dinner party, making people feel welcome, staying in touch with friends, decorating a Christmas tree, making hand-dipped chocolates. When she does it, it's beautiful and right, and that is a gift, my friends, a gift for living a good life.
2. She plays her piano every day. Because she has a piano, she knows how, and that beautiful instrument makes her happy. On top of that, she has a beautiful voice.
3. She watches out for my dad. Not that the man can't watch out for himself, but he does like to sneak a snack that is not on the approved list.
4. She loves flowers and likes to show them to me when I visit. I am always delighted to get a tour of the garden.
5. She checks in on me. I can get in a whirl sometimes and not stop to touch down. I get a text or an email from my mom, and that reminds me that life is more than that whirl.
6. She had a pair of orange patent leather slingbacks in the sixties. I know, because I played dress ups in them. They were rad.
7. Same time period, she had a pink sharkskin mini. That's right. Mini. She was happening, the people.
8. Because, when she was growing up, money was tight, one of the symbols of plenty for her is a drawer full of clean, fresh socks.
9. Strawberry jam. She knows how to make it, and it is good.
10. She is no nonsense. She is good and she is kind, but she is also tough, and I so admire this about her. Not a whiner, unlike some people we could mention.
BONUS: once, when she had had surgery for an aneurysm in her brain, I was standing nearby as she was coming out of anesthesia. She was pretty sleepy. She opened her eyes and saw me. I had her hand in my hand. She closed her eyes again and smiled and gave my hand a little squeeze. That's a perfect little synecdoche--the part standing for the whole--of my mom, and how I know she loves me, and why I am so glad that I am hers.
Happy Mother's Day, Mom! You are the best of the best of the best.