29 November 2006

Happy Birthday, Mom

It's my mom's 63rd birthday today. I can't believe my mom is 63. I can't believe that I'm 34. I can't believe that the twins are five months. Crazy.

My mom and I have a great relationship. Every day I spend living so far away from her (and my stepdad and my dad) makes me long more and more to move back to Oregon. Someday. It's not in the cards for me right now, but someday. Especially now that the twins are here, being away from Mom is very, very difficult. Not only do I miss her emotional support, her optimism, her amazing way with babies, her practicality, and her cooking (among other things), but I just wish that she could be a daily part of Maddie and Riley's lives. I want them to know her. I want their faces to light up when they see her. I want them to feel the love she has for them more frequently than a few times a year. I make a point of talking about her a lot, but it's not the same as having her here to hold them and say "I love you" herself.

My mom's relationship with her mom was rocky. My maternal grandmother was a difficult woman. She was an alcoholic, an agoraphobiac, and a bitter, sad person who saw her young son get run over by a milk truck. She didn't like my dad, and actually said "I told you so" when my mom and dad divorced. Because she didn't like my dad, she didn't care much for me, either. When she sent the grandkids money for birthdays or Christmas, I always got $5 less than everyone else. I was always rather glad that she lived far away from us, in Kansas, so we didn't see her very often.

I know that my mom wanted her relationship with me to be different than her relationship with her own mother. And in many ways it is. And I know she wants to have a very different grandmother relationship with my kids than I did with her mother. And she will. It will be more loving for sure. I just wish it could be more frequent.

Someday I'll write more about my mom and my grandmother and about all of the adult child of an alcoholic behaviors I learned from my mom, the child of two alcoholics herself. My mom didn't have an easy childhood, despite living a financially priviliged life in an idyllic American suburb. But she is one of the strongest, most loving people I know today. The older I get, the more I appreciate what she did for me when I was younger and how hard she worked to give me the emotional stability and loving environment that she didn't get when she was growing up.

This year, when my stepdad and I asked my mom what she wanted for her birthday, her reply was, "All I want is a trip to Boston to see the twins." And so that's what she got. She'll be here next Thursday for a five-day visit.

I can't wait.

Love you, Mooti. Happy 63rd.


Anonymous said...

As a pregnant (36 weeks!) adult child of two alcoholics myself, this post brought tears to my eyes. I have so much fear going into parenting, but stories like this give me so much hope. It will be hard work, but I will walk alongside and be inspired by so many others who have overcome their own childhoods to raise beautiful, strong and loving children like you. Happy birthday to your mother.

bg's Little Sis said...

Happy Birthday to your mom, and so happy for, GH and kids that she's coming for a visit 5 days!! Yeah!

Rachel said...

That was a sweet post. Happy birthday to your mom!

OTRgirl said...

My Mom was also the child of an alcoholic and managed to be a strong, loving parent. What a wonderful tribute!

Jeralynn said...

Beautiful post. Your mom sounds very special.