I suppose it’s fitting to announce here, on this mostly-food blog, that today is my mom’s birthday. After all, my mom instilled in me a great love of food. When I was little, she used to take the time to make teddy bear bread with me, something I’ve tried to recreate with little success. She taught me to only use the best ingredients and she has always put extra love in everything she makes.
My mother is one of the most generous people I know, and I’ve been blessed to have a lot of generous people in my life. She is loving and kind and funny. She also taught me how to celebrate your birthday all week long. She is a lover of animals; I suspect in a past life she must have been a patron something of the animal world. No animal in need will ever be turned away; sometimes not even the animals who need nothing. I love that she has endless room in her heart to love us all.
Travis suspects our fur-filled household is my mother’s influence rubbing off on me. He could be right. All my life I’ve been surrounded by pets and I never understood how people could grow up without them. My mom indulged just about every request I had as a kid – pet mice, rats, guinea pigs and rabbits. A brief stint with parakeets. Always dogs and then cats. When I was in college, we visited a feed store and she walked out with a baby chick nestled in her scarf. She used to really want a potbellied pig until she found out how large they really get. Travis has learned not to let me near a potential pet by myself.
We live in a house my mom owns, paying rent to cover the mortgage and property taxes. But she’s also indulged us with some pretty major house projects, taking the receipts as tax deductions for her “rental house”. We keep a guest room clean and ready for her, but her visits are always so short and quick. I have to plan very seriously for when she does fly in, because we usually only have one meal together and that meal has to be fantastic.
My mom used to tell me she was going to live forever. I used to think she was crazy; no one lives forever. Now she says she’ll be here into her 90s, which are happily many years away, and all I can think is that I wish she would live forever.
Today is my mother’s birthday, and I wish her every happy thought in the world. I know she will be well fed on her birthday and all through the week. Even though I can’t be there with her today, I know she is surrounded by people who love her. And I will call her to tell her how much I love her, today and every day.