Today is my mom's fiftieth birthday.
I bet fifty feels a lot different to her than she thought it would at thirty. But at the same time, I bet fifty feels a lot different to her than she thought it would at forty-seven.
It's been an interesting few years for us as I transition into "adulthood" and as I rely on/look at her as more of a friend sometimes than a mother. Maybe that's good, maybe that's bad, but it's true.
So in honor of her fiftieth, 50 things I love about my mom:
- Her pretty blue eyes.
- She sent me dozens of encouraging letters before my half marathon.
- She scratches my back when I am home.
- She laughs at my jokes.
- She makes me pancakes for breakfast when I come home.
- She gets to know my friends as if they were her own.
- When we were little, she would sing the monkey part in "I Wanna Be Like You" anytime we asked her to, even during carpool in front of all our friends.
- She's the only one who calls me Linny.
- She's often sentimental when it's not necessary, but always sentimental when it is.
- She's the most requested teacher at her school.
- When I miss my granddad, I look at her and it's like he's still here.
- She finally had her back surgery.
- She's going to walk the Mercedes Half Marathon in Birmingham next February.
- When she was 40 she looked 50 and now she's 50 and looks 40.
- She calls me her cabbage (it's a long story).
- During the summer, she would have our friends over for birthday parties for our animals and cabbage patch dolls.
- She lets me write on my blog about all the goofy stuff she does and says.
- She still does Santa.
- She begs me to sleep in her bed when I am home.
- She is learning how to be independent. I think.
- She used to watch Friends with me every Thursday.
- She never missed a recital, class party or school program.
- She would let me check out as many books as I wanted from the library instead of making me pick a few at the time.
- Every time I forgot my cheerleading bloomers at home, she would bring them to me so the whole school didn't see my underwear.
- She thought the camera case incident was just as funny as we did.
- She fights for my attention.
- She still uses AOL e-mail because it's all she knows how to use.
- She used to fix my hair every morning until almost junior high.
- She was never too busy to film us putting on "shows" in the shower, on the fireplace, in the driveway, in the playroom, etc.
- She plays bunko!
- She decided to paint one day, and discovered she was really good at it.
- She ate a bird egg.
- She taught me how to proofread.
- She came to visit me the first time I had to stay in after-school care, even though that kind of defeats the purpose.
- She is protective.
- Everything she had to write my name on, from lunch boxes to PE jerseys, always looked good. Never crooked or sloppy.
- She found fun babysitters for us.
- She's not afraid to laugh at herself. Or let me laugh at her.
- She wants me to succeed maybe more than I even want myself to.
- She did ventriloquism for her talent when she was in Junior Miss (and laughs with us at her best friend, who recited "Twas the Night Before Christmas")
- One time when I had a bad ear ache, she said "I would take the pain for you if I could."
- We had the most interesting and diverse dress up clothes in all of Birmingham thanks to her. My friends and I dressed up all the way until high school.
- Every year on the first day of school, we would come home to a scavenger hunt through the house to find some prize or toy. Every year.
- She saves me things she knows I'd be interested in, whether it's an article, a magazine or a wedding invitation.
- She took care of my cat when I went to college.
- She buys me children's books sometimes when they remind her of what she thinks/hopes for me.
- She taught me everything I know about cooking (aka: not much).
- She'll print this list out and save it.
- She'll cry each time she reads it.
- She's not afraid of her life anymore.