I realize we are a bit past Mother’s Day. However, I think I need to extend the holiday, because I want to celebrate my mother for more than one day…
Because I am the daughter of Babs. And Babs is the stuff of legends.
Ok, she does not harbor a secret stash of dragon’s eggs. But she did manage to raise two wild, opinionated, sassy, and occasionally fire-breathing daughters in a part of Massachusetts that, at the time, was pretty darn good at conformity.
I am who I am because my mother is nothing less than “wicked cool”.
I grew up the daughter of (what felt like) the only single lady in a country-club obsessed, gin-and-tonic scented suburbia. She was different. European. She spoke with an accent. There were rumors that she would sunbathe topless and clean her house in the nude.
And, to put it inelegantly, my mom was (and still is) smokin’ hot.
When my mother walked into a suburban cocktail party in our little town, poofily-coiffed wives would purse their coral lips, clutch their cocktails firmly with one hand, and hold onto their husbands with the other. They were careful to steer the gentleman as far away from my mamma bear as they could.
Once, in sixth grade I managed to get sick right before lunch. Green in the face and wobbly, I was sent to the nurse’s office. Mom was called. Mom arrived, looking for me, her heels clicking down school corridors, french perfume trailing behind. I distinctly remember the faces of the boys as they watched her move through the hallways. It was like she was on a runway.
She was also incredibly cool. She partied with my babysitters. She went to Club Med with her French boyfriend. Occasionally, my sister and I were even invited along.
In high school, I was the one allowed to stay out as long as I wanted (“…just give me a call to let me know you are ok”). My mother is actually a rocket scientist if you think about it, because no other high schooler in my entire prepified town was allowed to do the same. So inevitably I showed up before 10pm anyway.
Smart thinking, Babs.
But regardless, my whole teenage life, I felt free. I knew I was supported and loved; but as a part of that, I was also trusted and encouraged to explore. I still feel that way, thanks to Babs.
There is so much I could write about my mother. Her life experiences, her soul, and her heart are much more complex than anything I have alluded to in the first paragraphs. The events that brought this intelligent and loving woman to the Boston suburbs are actually complicated, dramatic, and painful.
However, even with a difficult history, my mother is the most optimistic woman I have ever known.
I would like to know even more. I’m going to work on that. I hope to make a bit of a writing project out of it. Actually, it seems I am working on a lot of things these days; a few different irons in the fire. So my appearance on the blog has been a bit sporadic, and I apologize for that.
But I am going to take my mother’s lead, and try to relax a little. I’ll let life take me in different directions. I’ll explore, play, love, and I will also learn – with a goal of finding happiness and gratitude in every day.
Thank you for being the most extraordinary role model, Babs.