Dear Kathie Mic,
It's Mother's Day and you're the best, so - in spirit of my recent theme* - allow me to list 10 things that make you an awesome mom, and awesome in general.
*And also also due to the fact that live-wire boys pictured below are downstairs with Jon crushing a cardboard pirate ship (not really, Aunt Jen but the "waters" sound rough)... which makes writing eloquent paragraphs impossible. Fact is, I'm not really an elegant-paragraph writer anyway.
Okay, here goes:
1. You taught me to always do my best, to be nice to everyone and that thank you notes are never optional. (Plus most other things behind my better qualities.)
2. When I was a little girl, you dressed me up in super-cute clothes (most of which you sewed yourself from the fabric of hand-me-downs) and styled my long light brown locks into elaborate braids. You never let me leave the house with rumpled hair, stained clothes or boogers on my face. My boys should be so lucky.
3. You showed me how to make meals delicious, nutritious foods, training me to love a wholesome healthy diet. Who would have known all those years that, if not for us, you might have been choosing a Snickers and Diet Coke for dinner?
4. Then ... you selflessly chauffuered me around town - and the entire state of Ohio - for gymnastics and dance events. (Not to mention other school activities.) You did not complain about the enormous amounts of cash that these activities cost, even though money was (sometimes very) tight.
5. When I was a teen, you were strict enough to steer me away from really bad choices - but without squashing my spirit - which certainly is exasperating and at that time undoubtedly bitchy.
6. When I left home, an adult, you treated me that way: supporting me when I needed it (remember the packing before my move to NYC, with the salad bowl on my head?) but never judged my choices. Even when those included buying a house with my boyfriend (gasp!) and canceling a "real" wedding in favor of a fourteen-person mountaintop ceremony. Of course these were not choices you raised me to make but rather than reminding me of that, you probably discussed them with Aunt Judy. (I hope I'll react the same way when Jules reveals his 20-something plans to me.)
7. All of those prom dresses you designed and sewed for me - and the Halloween costumes. Jules and Kai thank you too.
8. You taught me the value of cultivating a close, fun family - and creating long-standing traditions. In fact, you modeled the process.
9. You are so different from me, all of the best ways: for instance, you're an eternal optimist who doesn't sweat the small stuff, who knows how to relax and loves basking in the sun and relishes sleep.
10. [And this one comes from Julian, who has just joined me]: "Grandma Kath is fun, fun, fun. And she makes cool costumes."
Happy Mother's Day!
PS: Happy Mother's Day, too, to Mom O. (Grandma Val) and my Grandma Micco, to the other amazing women who've so incredibly impacted my life (most notably, my Grandma Mary, Aunt Judy and Kathi Halbert) and to my fantastic friends (some moms, some not) from whom I've gathered such wise wisdom about being a better parent. Oh, and to Jon, who made me a mom to the two awesomest little guys I know. Over and out.