Andrea's comment last week really got me thinking. I write a lot about my childhood. The memory of it is a huge part of my daily living, and the experience of it causes me to feel blessed beyond words. I have only wonderful memories: perfect, shiny and glittery with joy. In my mind my childhood plays like a grainy old movie dappled in sunlight. I am proud that I had such a time, and together with Eric's enthusiasm, love, and help I work hard to pass the same experience on to our children.
There was a time, though, that I found myself embarrassed at my luck. There was no pain, heartbreak, or devastation in my past, except perhaps that I wasn't allowed to watch The Love Boat. At a certain age I became aware that some of my friends had parents who were dating, partying, livin' the life. Mine were (and are) married, focused on their kids, working hard to have a solid family. It was so totally uncool. Yet deep down I was always secretly very, very thankful. It wasn't until much later that I felt I could be outwardly proud. And now that I have children of my own I'm thankful that I have a clear template, a map to follow. This is not to say that I don't often get seriously lost on unknown sidestreets, but the map is there if and when I need it.
So I guess I've said all of this in an effort to stall in what I really want to say, because I lack the words or the eloquence to do her justice. My mom. My hero, best friend, and inspiration. Tirelessly dedicated to her family, she's unknowingly the tender glue that sticks us all so lovingly together. She never ceases to amaze me, impress me, fascinate me. I love her more than I could ever, ever express. And here just talking about her leads my brain to feel like a champagne glass filled too quickly, effervescent bubbles racing for air only to spill over the edge in an eruption of quiet popping. It's just easiest said this way: when I was a kid happily tearing through my morning bowl of Lucky Charms, I would eat every bite except for one soggy pink marshmallow heart. This I would leave floating in it's sugary milk, for her. And when presented with this honor my mom would smile, happily eat her prize, and reward me with a shower of love. Who could ever ask for more?