Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Happy Birthday, MooMoo!

I frequently change her name from MooMoo to Mom to Mama to Mamacita to Mumsy to Crazy Lady.

My mother will answer to any of the above.  That's the kind of cool lady she is!

In the beginning, God created this woman who loved Chinese Shrimp Fried Rice, Pepsi, Tom Jones, James Brown, the Allman Brothers, Rock and R&B, Classical and even some Country music, to give birth to me.  Dad was the Jazz fan. And people wonder why I'm a little, well, off-center. We spent many non-school nights watching Midnight Special and Ingmar Bergman films, in theatres, museums, at concerts, or watching plays. I may have mentioned some of this in a previous post, forgive my repetition.

I was raised, primarily, by a sophisticated, spontaneous and outgoing mother who would take my brother and me to unknown surprise places often, taught us how to use a knife and fork at a dinner table, and how to do the 'mashed potato' (a dance).  She had front row seats for The Stones at Soldiers Field in the 70's! She was the most fun to hang out with at any age I can remember and has hilarious stories of us all in the family.  She's been known to have people hurting and practically wetting themselves laughing at her recollections. She, at 71, can remember better than I am able. What does that tell ya?

She is utterly devoted to my daughter and as 'grandma' will drop everything and everyone if Jan calls her.  I think it's  As usual, my daughter, while growing up, could get away with anything with Mom but not with me.

"Oh, let her have the gun...she won't hurt anyone!"

"", says the Bad Guy aka Me.

So, for a long while it was the 3 Musketeers, that is, the 3 generations of females in one house.  That was fun, if you can imagine it.  I say that being facetious and yet it really was fun.  Mom introduced my daughter to films (NOT movies!) of foreign nature, classics, and stirred the desire in her to learn and do and see more of the world. Grandmothers serve a special purpose in children's lives that should never be taken for granted, I learned. They are the eternal cheerleaders in our childrens' lives because in their eyes those kids can do NO wrong and can conquer the world if they want. Everyone needs someone in their lives to be that for them, right?

Mom is the type of person that will give you not only the shirt off of her back but the pants and shoes, as well. When she gets to the undies, that is where I have to step in and be the bad guy.  I have to remind her of her own responsibility to herself now.  She no longer has anyone to take care of. It's her turn.  It goes against her nature as a nurturer, though.  Thus, the reminders.

If anyone ever asks, I'm very grateful to have been born into the family I ended up in.  She has the typical 'motherly' guilt of "Did I do this or that wrong?".  I have it, too. There is no book, not even Dr. Spock, that can reassure you that you did a good job. But as Jan tells me, "I had a good childhood."

Then again, Steve Allen (loved him!) told his children the same statement every night before bed.  Remember, you had a good childhood. 

My husband calls me "Mama" because he says I mother everyone I meet. But my mother is the Mama of all Mamas.  If you are not eating, drinking, relaxing in her home she believes something is wrong and will try to fix it!

Why aren't you eating?
Because I ate before I got here.
 No, you didn't.(Why would I lie?)
Here, eat this.
I'm not hungry.
Eat it.  Why won't you eat?
(5 minutes later)
Do you want some ice cream?  I have some chips, too!
(She keeps looking at me and it's freakin' me out!)
OK.  A few chips. Thank you.
Put this pillow behind your back!
Thank you, Mom.
(She sighs contentedly until the next round begins.)
You can't win.  It's a personal affront if you don't eat her food.  The funny part is that she hardly ever cooks!  Cooking has never been her forte', so to speak.  She's always been the restaurant type of woman who likes to be served.  How I got to be so domestic, I guess I attribute to my Dad.
How I became an interested person (I won't say 'interesting'), I attribute always to my mother.
Happy Birthday Blessings to you, you lovely crazy lady!  We love you!


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