Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mothers' Day

Here's wishing a Happy Mothers' Day to all of the lovely mothers in my life, in my blogroll, and in my readership. Raising the next generation of inhabitants of the planet is an extremely difficult task, and a task that it often denigrated by, to put it bluntly, empathy-lacking d-bags. I'm going to dust off an old post about mom because I don't think I could top it:


Today being Mothers' Day, I figured I'd write about mom. Mom, simply put, is the best... always has been. There are five of us, so we were never inundated with consumer goods, but the house was full of books, and there was always money for enrichment programs, classes, trips to cultural and historic sites. Mom raised us with a set of high expectations, but gave us a tremendous amount of freedom. People always assumed that she was a strict disciplinarian, but she never had to be- she laid down her rules, she explained why she demanded this sort of behavior, and we lived up to her high standards. Rule number one, of course, was that you had to perform well academically, and the other rules pretty much proceeded from there (regarding attendance, she told us, "The only reason you'll miss a day of school is due to a death in the family... yours."). She gave us plenty of opportunities for constructive recreation, so we really didn't have time to screw up or pick up bad habits.

Sometimes times were tough (mom had to pawn her accordion to buy medicine for one of us) but there was always enough food on the table so that friends could stop by... and they did. The door was always open, and company was a constant. One summer, my college roommate stayed with us so he could work in a Manhattan office rather than a Neenah foundry. Many times, I'd come home from work and find friends over (they had spare key privileges), putting a case of beer on ice and raiding the fridge. When my brother Sweetums took a round-the-world trip, he told people, "If you are visiting New York, call ahead, and stop by", and people did. No matter where you came from, or what you looked like, or what language you spoke at home, the door was open. As can be imagined, there are a lot of "adopted" children, from all parts of the globe.

The door is still always open. Old family friends still stop by in the course of their travels, she has co-workers who call her "ma", and she is a pillar of her neighborhood. Yeah, mom kicks ass. I'll be heading down to Virginia later this week to hang out with mom, and to party with the family of a classmate of my brother Vincenzo who is a member of the extended family. The extended family consists of thousands of people, by the way. Mom wouldn't have things any other way.


Reading over this post, I have to relate a funny story about my brother Vincenzo's graduation. Vin gave out the home address to all of his classmates and told them, "If you need a place to stay for a weekend, or you need any help, my family is not too far away." Over the course of the years, we had over a thousand people stop by or pass through, a sizable number of them attained "extended family" status, and still drop in to see mom when they are in the vicinity. One of Vin's classmates was the son of a high-ranking Nigerian politico- he was a tall kid with facial scarification to indicate his ethnic affiliation and social status. Due to his skill in boxing, he was nicknamed the "Nigerian Nightmare"- he was tall and rangy, and had a longer reach than a lot of the guys in his weight class, so he could defend himself by throwing a jab an opponent and dancing back. After the big graduation ceremony, as soon as he saw my mom, he shouted, "MAMA!" and ran over to give her a hug. The sight of a tall, rangy Nigerian aristocrat hugging a short blonde lady attracted the attention of most of the crowd, and then things got really amusing... slowly but surely, a receiving line formed and dozens of grads lined up to hug "MA" and thank her for all of her support. Needless to say, she confused the hell out of a lot of people that day.

Happy Mothers' Day to all, especially to Mom. XXOO

10 comments:

Smut Clyde said...

mom had to pawn her accordion to buy medicine for one of us

Must... resist... accordion jokes...

Patricia said...

Mom's are amazing, your mom proves it!

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Happy Happy!

Finally stopped raining here on Cacapon Mountain.
~

mikey said...

Sounds like fun. We had a bit of an open house, but most people didn't connect with mom and dad to anything near that extent. They mostly left "the kids" to themselves.

Claire (my mom - we started calling her "claire fairly early on. She seemed ok with it.) was a tiny Irish woman with a big heart and very human instincts. Oh, make no mistake, she could hold a serious grudge - she NEVER forgave the Japanese for Pearl Harbor and the death of her brother - but she had a lot of love to give, and was always at her happiest when people would accept it.

She was a traditional stay-at-home mom while we were growing up, but after we moved out and my dad died, she struggled to re-enter the workforce. And by golly, she managed to do it, although math was always a bit of a challenge for her.

When I was growing up we used to write funny poems and limericks back and forth. She often would write something silly and obscure and put it in my lunch bag. Her birthday was April fools day, making shopping for her birthday presents a hoot every year.

I was never much for artificial holidays like Mothers Day, but I always find myself missing her on this day...

John Gray said...

You are lucky
I am an orphan

Another Kiwi said...

It's always good to hear from the Clan Bastard.

OBS said...

I was never much for artificial holidays like Mothers Day, but I always find myself missing her on this day...

Artificial holiday?

Laura said...

I don't know her but I LOVE YOUR MUM!!!
She is the kind of Mother that I aspire to be.

((Hugs))
Laura

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

You make me feel sad, and like my mom was inferior, because she was not as good and cool and mothering as yours was.


Explains a lot, really, doesn't it?

But she's dead, and that's kind of the way it goes, doesn't it? So it goes, indeed.

Substance McGravitas said...

A meal's a meal.