An ode to Joanne, or My mom rules

by Rebecca A. Watson on December 10, 2009

in happiness, love, mothers, women

It’s that time of year again, and I’m not talking about Christmas. It’s Sagittarius birthday time. I tend to attract them. One of the centaurs that has been in my life the longest is my mother. In fact, it’s her birthday tomorrow.

Now we’ve had our ups and downs, but the fact is that she agreed to give birth to me, raise me as best she could and then unleash me onto the world.
Here (in no particular order) are five things that remind me of my mom, Joanne.

My mom read this book to me when I was very young. In fact, she instilled in me a great love of reading. Because of this, her attempts to get me to go to sleep at a decent hour were no match for the flashlight and good book I had under my bed. I was accused of not being a morning person–how much of a morning person could I be when I was up until 4am reading? Thanks Mom, for giving me the gift of reading. (I wouldn’t be a writer without it.)

OK I know it’s cheesy, but my mom would sing this song to me at night before I went to bed. And it’s one of my favorite memories of being young. And it reminds me of how (as my mom told it) when I was born it was a record breaking heat wave, and she and I would open the windows in the hospital and reach for the sun.
Love it or hate it, it reminds me of my mom. “I’ll have a small french fry and a medium diet coke.” I can’t count the number of times I have been on the phone with her and she says, “Hold on, I’m just in the drive through… *speaks above order* …so anyway, I was playing this beautiful song on the piano…” If my mom wasn’t in such good shape, I would say something to her about it. But hey, she laid off me and my smoking, so I can’t say much. And since there is a McDonalds in every country around the world, this assures that I will think of her no matter where I go.
Lefse. My mom helped me achieve a life-long goal last year when she came to my apartment and showed me how to make lefse, a Norwegian treat. It was something that had long mystified and intimidated me. And it was delicious.
Mom went out, took a class and voila! She became a lefse extraordinaire! And when I was asked to make lefse the night before Thanksgiving this year, I didn’t bat an eye. You want five pounds? Oh yah, sure! You betcha!
These words:
You can do anything.
You can be anything.
You could run a small county.

My mom said these to me over and over and over. When I was younger I saw this as pressure on me to do everything. What took me a while to realize is that she was just telling me she believed in me. And there is nothing more important a mom can do.

I wouldn’t be the woman I am today without Joanne. I wouldn’t have moved across a continent with the hope that I could get paid as a writer and then actually get a job as a writer if it wasn’t for her belief in me. And that is the coolest thing ever.

Mom, I love you. Thanks for putting your energy, love and devotion toward me. Thanks for never giving up on me. And thanks for being you. I hope you have a great birthday!

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