Thursday, July 09, 2009

I Wanna Be Like Mom

I’ve mentioned before how few people can make me laugh harder than my mom. I don’t remember her being this funny when I was little. Maybe as you grow up you get to know your parents better, and so their humor starts to make more sense once you really understand where they’re coming from.

Sometimes her humor borders on the inappropriate which, of course, adds another level of hilarity. The other night Mom showed me how she was cleaning and rearranging all the shelves in her living room. And then she tried to give me one of those plaster statuettes of Jesus in Gethsemane. When I was sitting at the piano she carried it to me, preciously, with a smile that knew I probably didn’t want it anymore than she did. She told me she made it.

“When did you make that?”

“Long time ago. I can’t believe you’ve never noticed it.”


“It’s been sitting on those shelves for the past 20 years!”

“I’ve never noticed it there.”

“Why do I do anything?”

“Why don’t YOU want it?”

And then she looked down at it, paused for a couple seconds and said, “It has delighted me long enough.”

And then I continued to play the piano but had to stop after about 30 seconds because I couldn’t stop laughing at the implication that Mom has grown out of Jesus.

Today is Mom’s birthday and I wanted to share some of my favorite things about her.

She is very creative and crafty -- hence the plaster Jesus. She probably made that back when she was in that Family Home Evening group where a bunch of mothers got together and planned FHE activities and shared ideas for their families. Mom actually makes a lot of cool things and I know if I want to make something and don't know how, all I have to do is ask her -- and if she doesn't know how to do it, she'll figure it out.

Mom loves to give gifts whether it’s for a special occasion or she just saw something and thought of you. I remember one Christmas, she kept finding stuff after the holiday was over and gave it to me saying, “Santa meant to give this to you earlier.”

Mom is a great travel companion. She loves to explore and learn new things. I was able to spend two weeks with her in Wales, England and Paris last summer and then again for three weeks last May when I went to London to visit her and my dad.

This is a rather recent development, but if Mom notices me looking at something in a store she’ll say, “Do you want me to buy that for you Honey?” I usually tell her she doesn't have to do that, but if you say you don't want what you're looking at she'll buy you something else without you knowing about it. In fact, we were in the Christ Church Cathedral Gift Shop in Oxford and someone noticed my mom doing this and asked, “So, how it works is you point at something and Becky will buy it for you?” Pretty much. About a week later we were at Durham Cathedral. Mom, Dad and I all split up for 30 minutes to explore the cathedral and then met up for show and tell. I told them how much I loved the contemporary stained glass window by the entrance. After that Dad and I climbed the cathedral tower. On the way down I said, “How much you wanna bet Mom went into the gift shop and bought me a postcard of that stained glass window?” Dad didn’t take the bet because he knows Mom all too well. Sure enough, we met Mom at the bottom and she presented me with a postcard and everything she learned about the window from her guidebook.

Mom loves holidays and celebrating everything. She has boxes of decorations for every holiday. Growing up we would have to take apart the entire set up in the family room to make way for all her Christmas stuff. She also decorates for Halloween, Valentines Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving and Easter. She was always introducing new and interesting ways to dye Easter eggs.

Mom loves to entertain and no one throws a better party. Everyone who came to my 30th birthday party at my parents’ house can attest to this. She went all out for dinner (for 50 of my friends), went to the trouble of mailing invitations and she even planned games. When I was little I loved it when Mom planned parties. I specifically remember the Christmas singing parties, The Tabernacle Choir Hanukah party (or something like that – there was Jewish food and my Dad’s Tab Choir friends came), Dad’s spontaneous 40th surprise birthday party, and then the small dinner parties. I remember one in particular when we invited a family over. Mom wanted to do placecards, but wasn’t sure how to spell one of the kid's names who was coming. So she just misspelled everyone’s name.

I love how Mom knows what’s important to me and she wants me to have it – even if it isn’t necessarily important to her.

I love that we look the same -- especially when we were little. It makes more sense for siblings to look alike because their DNA is more alike, but I can always differentiate between Lisa and myself in pictures, however, sometimes I’m not sure if that little girl with dark hair and bangs is me or my mom.

I think I like that we look the same because any comparison between me and my mom is the biggest compliment in the world. She puts her heart, soul, genius and precious time into everything she does. You talk to anyone who knows Becky and they can’t say anything before telling you how much they adore and admire her and how brilliant she is.

At some point, my mom started asking for my advice on certain matters and ideas and projects. It’s a wonderful feeling that she can trust me and appreciate me in that way and still be my mommy as she continues to deliver Easter baskets, bring me valentines and buy me toys.


leandparkermakes3 said...

You really do have an amazing mom! Wish her Happy Birthday from me!

Annie said...

What a sweet post! Happy Birthday to your Mom!

Kelly D. said...

That plaster Jesus arrived at our house yesterday and is on our shelf. It's now delighting Chloe.

And that picture of you two together circa 2009 is delighting me! You guys look great!

I just want to add that in addition to being a wonderful mother (for all the reasons you mentioned and many more), Becky is the BEST mother-in-law a girl could ask for. She's respectful and solicitous and loving. And so much fun! I totally lucked out in that department.

Ilene said...

I was so excited when you moved and left Becky's Easter bright green tupperware with me in Portland.

I kept it for many years until the lid broke. It was quite sad.

That delighted-me-long-enough quote is great. I have quite a few of those types of things lying around my house. And yes, sometimes those things are my children.

Becky said...

Ok. Becky here. First, thanks Laura for such a long and well-written tribute. Wow. Some of those things I don't even remember. That was very sweet of you to write that many words about me. Those are all fond memories for me.

I do have to give Jane Austen credit where credit is due. My hope was that Laura picked up on the reference from P & P when Mr. Bennett tells Mary to stop playing and singing. It's always cracked me up and it comes in very handy. I guess I'm flattered that Laura thought it was original with me, but, alas- no.

And,just for clarification's sake, we had a Seder at Passover. That was pretty funny because as custom dictates we left a seat vacant at the table for Elijah. A very earnest Ted, who was officiating, read from the formal text and when it was time to open the door for Elijah to enter, our lhasa apso Buddha was sitting patiently on the steps - to everyone's delight.

Laura Lee said...

Kelly, I'm glad Jesus found a good home.

Mom, it doesn't matter where the quote from, it's when you decide to use it that makes it funny.

Happy Birthday! I have a present for you that I'll have to bring to you tomorrow.

carter said...

I think Mom is the bee's knees.

Lisa Marie Trent said...

i like her too.