Today, August 6th, is my mother’s birthday.
She turned a whopping 98.
I don’t know how she does it.
I call her the Face of Resilience, the Energizer Bunny, The Little Engine that Could. She keeps going and going and going and going.
Then again, she was more interested in sleeping than talking with her daughter on this momentous occasion. I could only wake her with the allure of food and the cheesecake I brought as a birthday treat. In her mind, I imagined her thinking, “I don’t care about a birthday, for God’s sake just let me sleep!”
Mom has a right to sleep for as long as she wants on a Sunday or any other day. Not only does she deserve it, but she must be tired. Ninety-eight years is a long time. I’m more than a few decades younger than her and I want to nap almost every afternoon. I can only imagine how mom must feel some days.
In all of the years that I have been her daughter, there was much wisdom to gain from a woman with 98 years on the planet. Here are a few tidbits.
- It’s okay to lose your stoicism when a mouse is underfoot.
- It’s okay to have a daily adult refreshment of your choosing.
- It’s okay to take the daily adult refreshment with you in a travel bar when you go places.
- It’s not okay to camp when you can sleep in a much softer bed at the hotel.
- It’s not okay to wear a mini skirt at age 17 because that was not the style in 1974 (it was, but mom was not a prisoner of fashion when it came to the judgment of her daughter’s style).
- It’s okay to eat fish on Fridays as long as it’s not lent.
- It’s okay to eat potato pancakes on Friday during lent.
- It’s not okay to miss Catholic mass on Sunday.
- No, not even if you are in the middle of Baptist country.
- Never forget the German gravy, even when you make Chinese food.
- No matter that you are married, you need all of my leftover food.
- It’s okay that you’re no longer married, I didn’t like him anyways.
- It’s okay to make your child drive across town to buy the day-old rye bread for 20 cents less than at Wal-Mart.
- It’s okay to thank your child for driving across town for the day-old rye bread.
- But not too much.
- Moms are always saints, especially when they have 13 children to raise and love during the Great Depression.
- When you get to be 90 you can say whatever the h*ll you want.
- When you get to be 97, you can say chicken sh*t and people will laugh.
- When you get to be 98, you can sleep at the dinner table.
This is only a sample. There’s more, but now I’m getting sleepy (and it’s only 3:30 in the afternoon).
Like mother, like daughter I guess.