Celebrating 60 years of my mom today, with 60 reasons why I love her:
1. Because of the look on her face the day she was anointed “Mimi” by my son.
2. Because of how sweet it sounds to hear my boys call my mother “Mimi.”
3. Because she never tells me how to mother, tells me what I could be doing better, or compares my style to anyone else’s, even though I know sometimes I could use the advice. Sometimes.
4. Because she made me collect "points" growing up to cash in to do fun things, and she gave me a clothing allowance and expected me to stick to it.
5. Because she cares for my boys during the day so that I can pursue a meaningful career with a little less stress. Nuff said?
6. Okay a lot less stress.
7. Because when people point out how generous she is to do this for us, she actually tells them that she’s the lucky one to get to spend so much time with her grandsons.
8. Because she’s always got wine.
9. Because she cooks the BEST Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, including special requests from picky sons-in-law.
10. And without help from us lazy children with zero cooking skills.
11. Because she kept all of mine and my sister’s artwork from elementary school and it now decorates the grandsons’ playroom at her house.
12. Because she has a playroom for her grandsons at her house.
13. Because she told me once, in high school, that money actually does not make the world go ‘round.
14. Because she taught me about faith, then stepped back to let mine blossom in its own way.
15. Because she put me on a plane to Madrid so I could go see the world. And she knew I’d come back.
16. And when she came to visit me, she brought me my favorite American shampoo and snacks.
17. Because of the look on her face when I, at about 16, asked her if she’d ever smoked pot in the ‘60s.
18. Because she somehow managed to raise two girls by herself, on a rural Missouri farm, while retaining her sanity and her calmness.
19. Because when I was in kindergarten, she was the mom who supplied apples for snack time, instead of cookies.
20. Because she still has a great relationship with her childhood best friend.
21. Because she dedicated her career to the success of children with both special needs and special gifts for too little income.
22. Because she still receives letters from former students telling her what a difference she made.
23. Because without meaning to, she taught me about the realities of marriage and what I wanted in a husband.
24. Because she ensured we were able to take family vacations every year to fun and interesting places.
25. Because she is so darn sentimental.
26. Because she ponders for so long about what to get my husband for Christmas every year.
27. Because she loves to read.
28. Because she forced me to listen to NPR every day growing up, against my Debbie Gibson-loving teenie-bopper will.
29. Because she always let me decorate my room however I wanted, including rearranging my furniture weekly.
30. Because she told me a story once of being at a Janice Joplin concert and leaving a bottle of liquor on the stage.
31. Because she bought me every.single.one of the Babysitters Club books.
32. Because she appreciates nice things without being pretentious.
33. Because she loves my husband as if he was her own son.
34. Because after she and my dad divorced, she did her best to ensure I maintained a good relationship with his family.
35. Because she has more toys at her house than I have at mine.
36. Because she’s a California girl.
37. Because she taught me about politics.
38. Because of her spaghetti sauce, fried rice, gravy and rice, and even crockpot chicken.
39. Because she let me bring friends to the beach every summer in high school.
40. Because she totally put up with my screening her calls in college.
41. Because she leads by example.
42. Because she is so giving of her resources to others in need.
43. Because in junior high when my sister and I just wanted to win the class can drive contest, she would not allow us to get food items that we would not personally want to eat.
44. Because she has cared for so many animals in her life, from pigs to chickens to cows to cats to dogs to a horse - many of whom were like children to her.
45. And she guided us through the heartache of umpteen pet deaths growing up.
46. Because she bought us the Ronco food dehydrator and never asked why we never made the fruit roll-ups or beef jerky we promised.
47. Because she introduced me to Jane Fonda and low-impact aerobics.
48. Because she dropped me off at Sandstone Amphitheater to meet friends for my first-ever concert at 15, on a wing and a prayer I would make it home later.
49. And I did. And she still asks herself why she did that.
50. Because she’s 60 and she just joined Facebook.
51. Because her middle name is Posey. It’s just loveable!
52. Because she took care of all of my tiny wedding details when I no longer had mental capacity for doing so.
53. Because she slapped my face the one time I ever used the “f” word in front of her.
54. And I deserved it!
55. Because she let us bring the baby chicks home to the farm after they hatched in our third grade class incubators.
56. Because she was such a Murder She Wrote fan.
57. And Dallas.
58. Because she believes in me, my abilities and my potential.
59. Because I know she is proud of me.
60. Because making this list was a breeze.
Happy birthday, mom! I love you!