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That's my mom. Stunning. Always. Me, on the other hand...if I was a cartoon, I'd look like this right now.


Except I'd be wearing a Yankee hat, and I'd be covered in paint. But the pony tail part is spot on. The resigned expression. And most importantly, the crumpled up paper balls. Except instead of paper balls, it's about 7 different Word windows open.


Each Document.doc has a stanza of poetry, 5 different attempts at trying to twist a famous poem into a Mother's Day spin. I did as much with The Raven, Annabel Lee, O Captain My Captain, Gunga Din, and the prelude of the Canterbury Tales.


And then I'd realize that the main character in all but the Canterbury Tales prelude, dies in the end. Didn't anyone back in the day have the foresight to write something where the nice Irish Catholic woman wins in the end, thereby making the task of tailoring it to fit my needs, more palatable? Thanks for nothing. Talk about LIT-for-brains, right??

It's Mother's Day, and no one wants a poem that calls to mind images of Abe Lincoln being assassinated, or a talking devil bird refusing to scram. (I know, if you've heard that once, you've heard it a thousand times...)

And the thing is, if I just wrote a post about all the reasons I adore my mother, I would never even get to post it, because I'd never be done writing. (And I can already hear my mom saying, "Kristen. God help you if you write an infinite long post and never take a break to meet your future husband.")

See, she’s not just a “cool mom.” She’s someone I aspire to be more like. I watch her do the things she does, and half of me is blown away by how her joie de vivre never wanes. (I get tired bagging my own groceries in self-check-out line. She's playing 18 holes of golf.)
And the other half of me is really proud that I get to be related to her.

I wish I was more like my mom. She never stops learning new things. She wants to try everything once, and not in a psycho bucket-list-seeing-the-ball-drop-in-times-square-bungee-jumping kind of way. In a joining clubs or taking dance lessons kind of way. Her Christmas card was a picture of her riding a CAMEL. In front of pyramids. To me, the Far East is the FDR.

She keeps in touch with everyone she meets everywhere. In the grand scheme of Fantasy Friendteams, Mom is constantly “over max roster size.”

She sends snail mail, and if my handwriting looked like hers, I would, too. As Lauren always says, “Mom’s handwriting makes me cry.” It’s true. My handwriting makes people think they’re reading a ransom note.

She has style. I’ll never have it. My mom has more of it than anyone. And class. Every time I see her she looks so polished. My socks never match, and I thought color blocking was some kind of zone defense.

And she drives me crazy in ways that just remind me how insanely blessed I am to have her as my mother and my friend.
my best dance partner.

Yeah, my mom can make me nuts. But let’s call a spade a spade here, how “nuts” can you make someone that already has “crazy” as part of her moniker? It’s like saying this guy is “pleased as punch.”

I was thinking this weekend about a time when my mom was talking about how Nana used to always call her at work, and she said, "God, it used to drive me crazy, and now I'd do anything to have just one of those phone calls with her again."

It made me think of all the things about my mom that make me do this yet also make me do this.  

When she calls me at work. At my last job, my office shared a wall with the head of HR. My mom lost speaker phone privileges pretty quickly, because it's really a game of Russian Roulette when it comes to what topic is going to be broached upon picking up the phone. It could be anything from "I played a great game of golf today!" to "Did you get the newspaper article I sent you about the cannibal who lives in your neighborhood?”

Her covert disposal of clothes she doesn't like. No one's possessions are safe when we go to my parents' place. I sit guard by the laundry room like a junkyard doberman.

One time my mom came into the living room, gasped, pointed to the sunglasses on my head, and said, "Um, where did you retrieve those from?" When I was living with my parents post-hurricane, I couldn't man my clothes while I was at work, and there was definitely a time when I went to the laundry room and saw all of my socks had been thrown out.

I think it's completely insane, but also completely endearing how she's in a way still picking out my clothes 32 years later. Except she's doing the inverse.

She thrives on stress. I empathize. I think me and my mom aren't at peace with ourselves until we're stressed out about something.

Her relationship with technology. When my mom was in Florida last year, she asked me to find something in her gmail, and when I asked why she couldn't do it, she said she only had access to her Florida gmail, not her NY gmail.
I wasn't crazy about digging through her "NY gmail" for "an email address of someone. I think it has blue cheese in the name." But I secretly like it when either parent asks for help, makes me feel a little like I’m paying off my debt of years of proofreading my papers, quizzing me for vocab tests…Looking for or whatever it was, it is a microscopic price to pay.

Her interest in my love life. (Or her disapproval of my lack thereof.) In my mom's head, the bars of NYC are filled with eligible bachelors in scrubs, walking around with an engagement ring ready in one hand, and their fingers crossed on their other hand. And I’m just beating them off with a stick. Yep. That’s exactly how it is.

She never settles. I think everyone who has ever known my mom in ANY capacity has seen this immoveable conviction. When my parents moved into the suburbs right after they had, my mom designed the house and when it was done, she looked at it, and said the front door needed to be 3 ft to the left.

No matter that it was done, that this would require tearing down walls, and costing more, etc. This was how she wanted it. It can be maddening beyond the telling of it, but it’s also one of the genes I’m particularly happy to have inherited.  
My mom is magnificent. Everything she does comes from someplace good. She's the one who once told me, "Our first responsibility is to be a good person." And that's how she lives and acts.

Mother-Daughter Yankee Fans
She lights up the room, she’s funny, she’s passionate (to a fault. Really, sometimes to a fault), generous, considerate, a complete loony tune, and just the kindest person in the world.

So, for what it is worth, Mom, know that my sisters and I think you are the epitome of class. None of it is lost on us, and you and Dad are at the heart of everything good in us.

So, with that, I’ll sign off with one of her more oft-quoted pearls of wisdom, imparted to me before my first day of freshman crosscountry preseason training:

“Life’s too short to do the things you don’t want to do if you don’t have to do them, unless you have to do them, in which case do them. So…if you get tired, stop.”

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom.


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