A few weeks ago my little sister happened to bump into the son of my lifelong best friend from high school on a street in Portland. A little out of the ordinary, but not totally unheard of in the big city.
But some chit chat, on an occasion like this, is kind of obligatory. Which can be hard to make with a 15 year old boy.
My sister said, “Hey, isn’t your mom’s birthday, like, tomorrow?” (It was. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TONI!!!!!!! We were BFF’s before that was a word and I love you! Here we are, walking along the moors, tra-la-la-la-la! Only you will get that. )
Anyway, Her son, Halin, just shrugged his shoulders and said, “I don’t know. I don’t keep up on that stuff.”
My sister was a little stunned at first, that Halin wouldn’t know when his own mother’s birthday was.
Our mother’s birthday is something we just wouldn’t forget. Wouldn’t be allowed to forget. Mom’s 39th birthday just doesn’t go by again (and again and again and again) without commemorating it in this family in some sort of spectacular way. It’s just not done.
Then Halin showed how smart he really is by saying, “But I know what’s important to my mom. I know when Mother’s Day is.”
The kid’s got a point. And I know he’s right. I’ve known his mother since 1981, and she would much rather he forget the fact that she’s another year older, and instead make a huge freaking deal about how amazing she is for giving him the gift of life 15 years ago, and how she’s helped shape the human he has become.
After more than 40 years on this planet…well, even after 30 years on this planet, my own birthday sort of stopped being special, and I don’t really care about making a big deal out of it (except for the last one, which happened to fall on 12-12-12. I felt compelled to celebrate that one in grand style just for the novelty of it all, and I’m glad I did).
What’s far more important is celebrating the day that I gave someone else a birthday…the birth of my own child. The day I became a mother.
And you know, not a year goes by that my mother doesn’t call me on my birthday, so that I can congratulate her for giving birth to me! And I gotta give it up to the lady, of course, because obviously she went through a lot. Not just carrying all 8 pounds of me to term and delivering me, but putting up with my rebellious spirit and hormone riddled personality for 18 years. Well, make that 46.5 years.
Being a mother really is the most important thing I’ve ever undertaken in my entire life, and thankfully I think I’ve done a pretty bang-up job at motherhood, judging from the kid I’ve ended up with and how skookum our relationship is so far.
Notice my disclaimer there….so far. She’s only 15 1/2. I’m well enough aware that things could change in a New York minute. People have been warning telling me that since the day after I gave birth to a girl.
But for now, and fortunately for the past 15 years, I’ve really enjoyed motherhood. I’ve enjoyed it so much, that Mother’s Day isn’t really a big deal for me, because my child tells me she loves me every single day.
This weekend, my presence at the foot of my mother will be required, and I will buy her flowers, I will shower her with jewelry, I will thank her for giving birth to me. And my daughter will be close by, but for us it’ll be just another awesome day of getting along like two peas in a pod. And for that I’m so thankful!
In honor of this weekend’s special day just for moms, please enjoy today’s playlist of mom songs….some of which my daughter actually helped pick out. It was a bit more difficult than you might think though….going through all the completely inappropriate “I want to do your mom” songs (although I still included a few that are near & dear, like “Stacys Mom”), and I tossed all of the hateful mom songs…only good stuff in today’s playlist.
I hope you get to spend some time with your mom today, thank her for raising you to be the awesome person I know you are, and enjoy the tunes!
- Mother – Cocoon
- Mama Told Me Not To Come – 3 Dog Night
- Mother & Child Reunion – Paul Simon
- Does Your Mother Know – Abba
- Mommy Is Hot – Lou Bega
- Mother We Just Can’t Get Enough – The New Radicals
- Mother Freedom – Bread
- Mother Mother – The Veronicas
- Mother’s Little Helper – The Rolling Stones
- Mother – Pink Floyd
- Mommy – Selah Sue
- Mother – Yann Tierson
- Mother’s Eyes – Joe Sample
- Mommy Daddy You & I – Talking Heads
- Mama – Genesis
- Mom & Dad’s Waltz – Willie Nelson
- Mama Tried – Merle Haggard
- Mama’s Song – Carrie Underwood
- The Best Day – Taylor Swift This is one that my daughter suggested for today’s playlist, and of course I obliged her. It’s about a teenage girl having an awesome day with her mom.
- Turn To You (Mother’s Day Dedication) – Justin Bieber
- I Love You Mom – Tyler Bates
- Mother’s Day Waltz – String Cheese Incident
- I Want A Mom That Will Last Forever – Cyndi Lauper
- Hey Beautiful – The Solids This songs makes so much more sense when you know that it’s the theme song to How I Met Your Mother!
- Stacy’s Mom – Fountains of Wayne
- Volvo Driving Soccer Mom – Everclear
- My Mom – Gabriel Iglesias A short comedy break before things get slightly ridiculous
- Meet My Mom – New Boyz
- You Can Finally Meet My Mom – Train
- I Took My Mom To The Prom – The Ziggens This one’s for my friend Dave. Who did not, for the record, take his mom to the prom. As far as I know.
- I Like Your Mom – The Bouncing Souls
Valerie Ing has been the Northern California Program Coordinator for Jefferson Public Radio in Redding for over a decade, and can often be found serving as Mistress of Ceremonies at the Cascade Theatre. For her, ultimate satisfaction comes from a perfect segue. She’s the mother of a teenage daughter and an adorable West Highland Terrier, and can’t imagine life without them or music.
She’s often spotted driving around town singing at the top of her lungs to new wave hits from the 80’s, but at work Valerie hosts the afternoon classical show Siskiyou Music Hall (at 90.9 FM in Shasta County or streaming at ijpr.org).