Mom, this one's for you.
This is my mother, Mary. My sister and I have shortened her name to just, "Mom." Easier. A palindrome, too, so it's nice and nerdy.
That is Mom. whom I love. And who probably thinks I don't notice things... :) She's
Notable exceptions exist, however, since I have noticed her...
And then - there's an amazing thing she does. Every day. At 57. It's this: she hopes to make the lives of my sister and I better. I worry, particularly today, the day after her birthday, that such care is undeserved, but regardless, I have this idea that Mom's love may yet overcome her son's shortsightedness...
... waking every weekday morning at 5:30 am for twenty years. To go to work - pay bills.
... running a stuffed animal clinic.
... slowly transforming the social limitations of language and speech into powerful tools at her children's disposal. Example? Easing us into the world of swearing. Via Hollywood and Burt Reynolds (70s actor). Took us young and wide-eyed to a R-rated movie ("The Longest Yard") about football in prison and asked "which swear word was your favorite?" Hers: "Son-of-a-bitch."
(Aside: Apparently, I don't swear, um, over-much. :)
... adapting to a mixed-race family in suburban Oregon with humor and, as far as I can tell, little cognitive dissonance. Remarkable.
... teaching by example.
... finishing crosswords that I can't.
Last thing: you know that episode of the X-Files where the Smoking Man is writing his novel? It's a sort of memoir in which he writes something like, "Jack Colquitt, sat alone in his apartment at Christmas. He believed in sacrifice... " (emphasis mine)
So... I figure my Mom and the Smoking Man have a couple of things in common. One thing fits on the freezer shelf to keep fresh and the other thing I will always be grateful for.