Sunday, June 22, 2008

A note to my mom

There are many reasons why I love you, Mom, and I want the world to know how awesome you are:
  • I was in some sort of musical ensemble from age 7 until my mid-twenties. Band, choir, vocal jazz, chamber choir, musicals, the works. I can count on one hand the number of performances you missed, Mom. For hundreds of other shows, you sat in the audience, smiling, proud, filled with excitement and never bored, and you tried your hardest to clap louder than everyone around you. I always loved the moment I spotted you in the crowd.

  • When my girlfriend moved hundreds of miles away, you took me to the bus station to say goodbye. You held back while she and I hugged and cried and then you kept me busy for the rest of the day. You took me to buy a vacuum cleaner. We went grocery shopping. You made me lunch - I still remember what we had: salami, mustard, and melted Boccancelli on crusty rolls, and comforting soup. We went to a movie. You made sure it was a comedy. You gave me rumpled tissues from your purse and many hugs when I cried. I was 31 years old but you made me feel as safe as a child again.

  • I still remember those tough, sad days after we left dad and moved to the apartment in Winnipeg. I was 5 years old, so I didn't think that maybe you were hurting, too. You created special rituals that made me feel better. To this day I get the urge to sit down in front of the TV on a Friday night, watch the Muppet Show, and eat homemade pizza with a banana milk shake off of a TV tray.

  • Growing up I sang. All the time. From morning to night. It must have been annoying but you never told me to stop. (No, that's a lie. I recall practicing a song for choir while we were eating supper and you told me to give it a rest until after the meal. I can't blame you - I imagine my food was flying everywhere.) This past Christmas, I went over to help you decorate your tree and the two of us sang carols the whole time. I launched into an enthusiastic and quite-on-purposely bad rendition of "O Holy Night." You smiled and gave me looks. "Am I bothering you?" I asked, hopefully. "Not at all. It's nice hearing you sing again, even if you are being a smart-ass." Well...if it wasn't bothering you, what was the point of my badness? I kept going, though.
  • When you make my favourite soup (beef barley), you always set aside a huge container of it for me.

  • When I was little and we were not that well-off, you saved your money and took me to Boston Pizza for a Valentine's Day supper. We shared a heart-shaped pizza and you drank water so that I could order chocolate milk.

  • You put a self-centred teenage Nat in my place many times. "My hair's not done - I can't go out with you! Everyone will laugh at me," I would wail. "Yes, because everyone in the mall has absolutely NOTHING better to do than scrutinize you and your hair. I think they might have the spotlight ready for your entrance," you'd snark back. It helped turn me into a decent, kind, thoughtful human.
Thanks for everything you've done, big and small. You're my favourite person on this planet. Hope you have a great birthday tomorrow, Mom. I love you lots.


  1. Your mom sounds so awesome. I'm in love with her and I haven't even met her yet.

  2. that's so beautiful. awww. mommies.