Sunday, May 10, 2009

Sunny with a Chance of … Awesome!

My Mom is pretty darn terrific and is, hand’s down, the all-around best Mom I know. She’s the benchmark against which I measure all other mom’s, real or fictitious; and they tend to come up lacking. How freaking cool is that? Yeah, I know: very cool. My Mom rocks!

Some mothers are staggeringly, alarmingly, lacking … and some are just plain not-cool. It’s kind of sobering how often I find myself saying “my Mom would never do that!” and meaning it (I usually tell her about whatever it is that made me voice the sentiment, too). I find it rather fabulous that at this stage of the game I’m able to appreciate the grand and infinitesimal ways in which Mom has been wonderful, and what a blessing that has been to me. That’s not through any special recognition-of-awesome skill of mine, either … it’s just that she really is that extraordinary a mother.

Mom is always right there for me whenever I have the urge to talk, which is pretty much daily (often twice daily, seeing as I can’t drive a car more than a mile without calling her; it’s like an addiction). And she’s one of the truly funniest people I know. Mom can make me laugh just by telling me what went on in her kitchen that morning. She sees the bright side of the world. That’s not to say she is unaware of the dark … Mom simply chooses to acknowledge the light, give it it’s due, and embrace it’s positive impact on life in general, and I think that is a wonderful trait for anyone, let alone a parent, to have.

I remember when I was little, and Dad traveled a lot, so Mom was the full parent package most of the time. That had to be rough on a young mother of three (two being boys, and those of you with little boys know how crazy they can be!), but we kids never had a clue how tough times really were, because Mom and Dad weren’t the type of parental team to let the worries of the adults impact the children.

When we were kids, having a boat was not some weekend pastime of the rich and famous … nowadays just buying a boat costs a huge chunk, and sailing to different ports takes planning and wealth. But back then it was a relatively cheap way to take family vacations. Some of my best childhood memories are from those vacations on either Tallow II or D’Lite (the sailboats we had when I was growing up).

We’d go to the wilds of Saquish Beach (where Mom’s best friend’s parents welcomed us like visiting grandchildren), Quick’s Hole (where we fed sugar cubes to the solitary Ranger’s horse), Vineyard Haven (where we met the Albion’s after Mike shared a hospital room with their son), and Menemsha Pond … or the more populated places like Cuttyhunk (where I had my very first swordfish), Woods Hole, Block Island (where Race Week plays out to this day), and Edgartown (where parts of the movie “Jaws” was shot). My brothers and I grew up wandering the beaches and towns of Oak Bluffs, Gay Head (now called Aquinnah), Chappaquiddick, Nantucket, and Buzzard’s Bay.

Sometimes I subscribe to the belief that we get the family we ask for, in which case I was smarter than the average bear when it came my time to choose, because they’re all endlessly entertaining and just plain great people. My family’s sense of humor should be the definition of “sense of humor” … there are few people funnier than my parents and big brothers when they’re on a tear.

And Mom’s side of the family could be more different than Dad’s, but only if you tried really hard to find two disparate families. She grew up with a little brother and two much younger sisters, whereas Dad had a big sister and two younger brothers. Mom was city-raised by a former nurse and a boilermaker, while Dad was country-raised by a couple who worked together side-by-side at the family businesses year-in and year-out.

She was the little princess, and he was the young ruffian-in-the-making, and they’ve been in love forever (he was her first steady boyfriend). They planned their retirement when we kids were young, and so we knew almost our entire lives that our folks were going to circumnavigate the world one day, and damned if they didn’t do just that! It took them 10 years and numerous visit back home to the States, and they were out of the country during some pretty scary stuff (September 11th being the worst), but they did it!

Who does that?!? Who makes plans for decades and makes them happen? My folks, that’s who! They’re too cool for “cool”. What’s another word that means the essence of cool? The peak of cool? The very tippety-top of cool? Because that word? Describes my folks.

And Mom gets me; even when she doesn’t, she really does … which is waaaay gratifying. Don’t get me wrong, we certainly don’t agree on everything; that would be boring. And we argue different points often enough. But we have respect for one another, and one another’s viewpoints. I don’t recall when our relationship changed from straight mother-daughter to fast-friends, but I give thanks for it every day, and the fact that we’re people who genuinely like one another. So have a spectacularly happy Mother’s Day, Mom, I love you!

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