Tall (5'9"), lanky, and naturally thin, my mother eats more than any other woman I've ever known (my dad is the same way, but did they pass those stellar metabolisms down to moi?? Of course not. BAH!). She had a baby a year after I did, when she was forty-two and her energy level makes me wonder if she found the secret fountain of youth (if that's the case, I plan on aging badly, thankyouverymuch). My mother is a goddess and today is her birthday.
Although she's extremely intelligent, kicks ass at all things mathematical, has memorized bridge hands for the past 20 years, and has flawless grammar skills, she is still able to embrace her inner fruitloop. When I was an angst-ridden teen, these idiosyncrasies would annoy me because I always wanted her to be serious. And Martha Stewart, dammit. Years later, however, these are traits I find most endearing:
Her odd medical mystery tendancies, like watches breaking from her electromagnetic energy? And the fact that she was hypoglycemic until she gave birth (now she's fine), or that she gets asthma if she stops smoking. Mosquitos never bite her and perfume turns rancid because of..too much vitamin B?
She would, and still does, stare at me in the car, drying my hair, while talking on the phone..."you're so beautiful," she'd say, "I can't believe I gave birth to you." Now that I'm older with my own son, I see this for the true psychological torture method it is.
She would laugh (especially in public with my aunt Susie) - gleeful, uninhibited, loud laughter that mortified me to no end. Now when we're in a quiet pub or at home, I'm proud to be sharing a space with someone so capable of expressing joy.
We'd be having a conversation, or so I would assume, when her end of it would suddenly stop. Thinking that the was the end of the discussion, I'd retreat back to my head...covering a range of several other thoughts when she would respond to the intial conversation. "Yes, I think so, too." Uh...huh? What?
Every time she pulled the car into the driveway, she' d say, "Honey, we're home." Every. Single. Time. In my head, I'd be yelling, "Duhhhhhhhhh, where else would we be?" (because I was obnoxious like that), and it makes me laugh now when I still hear her say it.
One year, I saved my allowance for several weeks to buy her a "hot to trot" keychain because I thought it meant she was beautiful...Happy Birthday, mom, and I still think you're beautiful!