happy birthday mama

A Letter for My Mom on Her Birthday

June 2, 2015

Dear Mama, You managed to raise five children! We all felt we were the specialist in the world, for our ages. And we all felt we had your undivided attention, but only when we had the floor. Which may have been for about two secs before someone else jumped in. It’s my turn to have the floor and tell you all my unsolicited thoughts about you. In our childhood, you taught us to always mind our p’s and q’s (that’s politeness & quietness for the uninitiated). You taught us that we always had to share with our siblings, but warned them not to take too much. You taught us that if we felt awkward socially or uncomfortable around people who were old, differently abled, or from a different country, we should push past our insecurity and get outside ourselves to make sure we were extra polite and friendly. You taught us to never ever let a stranger talk to us or try to entice us to come to their white windowless van for “candy.” You taught us to be fiercely loyal to each other and always side with our sibling in public, or else . . . In our early adulthood, you loved baking chocolate chip cookies, fudge, and caramels and ensuring this diabetic coma in a box was delivered to us when we lived out of town. It made us real popular at school with our newly-gleaned friends. You loved leaving us lengthy voice messages that started with “Now, listen”…

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