Sunday, July 02, 2006

Happy birthday Mom

Yes, July 3rd is my mother's birthday. I won't say how old she is, but since I did not give her a tribute on Mother's day (I wasn't blogging yet), I will give her equal space on the blog that I gave my dad earlier on. It's funny, though, when you google an image for "Mother" you end up with a lot of pictures of nuns. My mom had 6 kids - she was not a nun.

It was always hard to figure out what to do for Mom's birthday. As a younger child it was simply unthinkable that this eternal source of whatever I needed would have needs herself. If she did, she would never let on to it.

But invariably July 3rd would show up in my headlights and I would panic, thinking I had to somehow repay her for the 5 billion things she did for me. In the village I grew up in, there was always a festival at the end of June, so this became a common source of gifts for mom. My brother and I would go around to the booths that were selling trinkets and get her something. I would get her a fancy paper weight, or something that held pencils. They looked nice, but only cost a dollar. My brother was especially proud one year when he found her a can-opener that had "jewels" encrusted on the sides of it (green glass, undoubtedly). Mom still proudly displays it in her china cabinet.

I also made her gifts. One time she had signed me up to take a pottery course downtown during the summer. They had us make kind of strange things. I remember one thing that looked like a "sunny side up" egg with pencil holes in the top of it - I never did figure out what that was, but she kept it for years. Her favorite was the garbage can I made. It had a greenish-purple glaze on it and was leaning to one side, but I think she was tickled by the fact that her son had thought for some reason to make a garbage can. Some kids made butterflies, or boats, but her son made a garbage can. She still has that one on a shelf. It's nice to know you can make garbage and your mom will think it is special.

Now it is easier, with the advent of e-cards. They make one day's notice enough. There is really very little she wants or needs for her birthday. All she wants is to hear my voice on the phone and to hear stories about the kids. Yes, I owe some of my insecurities to my parents (I am passing on plenty to my kids), but all in all, I could have done a ton worse. Heck, all I have to do is tell her I blogged about her and she will brag to all of her friends. Moms are great. Anyhow, I have found some real cool can openers on the internet. My brother's going to be jealous this year.