25 Things I Learned From My Mother

She was so pretty.

She was so pretty.

6 years ago today my mom died.
I’m trying to laugh today- instead of cry (not easy!)
because my mom liked when we laughed.
And she LOVED when we paid attention to her (sound familiar?!)

25 Things I learned from my mother

1. Cover soles of new shoes with scratch-less bottoms. Scuffed shoes look terrible when you cross your legs. 

2. Finger nails and toe nails must always be neat.

3. Chocolate is best eaten while you’re alone in a bathroom.

4. Pajamas are all-day-wear attire.

5. It is more important to make others feel good, than to feel good.

6. Generosity comes in many forms.

7. Give Give Give.

8. It is important to have an “everyday bag.” meaning one new bag for every new
day!

9.”While I have my vanity, I have my sanity”

10. The Bed is an ideal place for meals.

11. Buy something new, give away something old.

12. Gray roots should never show.

13. Be kind to the people who help make you pretty.

14. Be kind to everyone…even morons (sometimes “except” morons).

15. Plastic surgery can be a hobby

16. The best diet is: fruits, vegetables, and cake.

17. Punishing your kid is ok but your punishing MY kid?! Watch out!

18. “69” is when a man and a woman kiss each other’s genitals. 

19. You can always undo bad behavior with a smile. Well, HER smile. 

20. A man should buy you jewelry but if you like something sparkly… buy it yourself! 
 
21. You can never have enough things that sparkle. 
 
22. Find your own style 
 
23. Home made chicken parmigian is breaded chicken cutlet with a deli slice of mozzarella half melted on top. 
 
24. Fresh baked goods should always be on the kitchen counter.
 
25. Family First. 
 

Losing My Mother Defined Me, Unleashed Me and Changed Me

A long long time ago...my mommy and me.

A long long time ago…my mommy and me.

I was a guest on my brother Brian’s #TheMoment Podcast earlier this week, and it (of course) got me thinking (wait, I am always thinking!) about our mom.

I think we all have some mixed up crazy part of our brain. But most of us have a bigger, healthier part of our brain that keeps the other less healthy part in check. In my mother’s case, I believe the crazy side was just a bit larger than the not crazy side. And dealing with the ever-growing understanding of the lack of my mom’s ability to control the off-kilter part of her brain (not that) long after she’s gone fills me with extra sadness.

I’m sad because I want to tell her I get it. I really do. I get the anxiety part that consumed her. I have inherited it!

I get the huge insecurity part — I have that too! But I also got my dad’s pragmatic view of things, my mom’s ability to connect with people, my dad’s ability to connect to people, my dad’s work ethic and his optimism. I think I may even have his singing voice, too!

I feel sad that my mom was part of a generation that felt so ashamed of any odd thoughts or odd behaviors that she couldn’t really laugh at what made her unique, fantastic and also impossible. I get to share my issues daily on the radio, or here on my blog, or on Twitter or FB or anywhere, really.

Although there is still some taboo over being super-open about what ails us emotionally, there is significantly less taboo now than there was years ago. My generation is lucky in this way.
My mom was an astounding beauty who never knew it. She was warm, loving and delightfully zany. And her face was so expressive. Clearly, I’ve inherited her expressions. I’m beyond grateful for this unbreakable link to her. But my mom was sure she was ugly because in addition to her magnificent moon pie baby blue-eyed face, she had a chubby pear shape much of her life with not so glamorous legs. (Thanks mommy. I have your legs!) Later in life my mom was super skinny, but the scars from battling her weight never allowed her to realize what she had become. (Note to self: Allow myself to realize what I’ve become which is not as skinny as she was but no longer as fat as I WAS!) My mommy was incredibly smart, sassy, talented and funny, but unknowingly hid this much of the time by being overly invested in what didn’t really matter like her hair length and color, the wrinkles on her face (which were never really permitted to accumulate), the cleanliness of the house, the color of her bedroom walls, the handbag she had to have, the dress my sister or I shouldve been wearing, the length of my brother’s hair and the full assortment of not-to-be-eaten-by-me baked goods in her kitchen at all times.

My mom had the kindest spirit and a huge heart. She made the prettiest, most fun and most elaborate parties for all of us, the stuff of legends — ask anyone who got to go to our weddings, my brother’s bar mitzvah or my sister and my sweet sixteens! She did love to see us smile. Her incessant need to take care of others was compromised only by her obsession with perfect aesthetics. And how angry it made her when something wasn’t aesthetically pleasing. [Read more...]

44.

 

MOMMY! Jan. 2008 : 6 mos before she died.

MOMMY! Jan. 2008 : 6 mos before she died.

Stupid cancer. 

This is the 6th Mother’s Day without my mom.
I’m 44 years old.
And I feel my mom’s absence even more now than I did a few years ago.

I think it’s because I’m in my mid life (or her 3/4 life!)  and feel so much like I remember her to be.
I understand my mom more today than I did when she was here.
And it stings that I can’t tell her that.

My mom was  so overwhelmed by her love for us it scared the crap out of her.
And I believe in some ways this overabundance of feeling and fear rendered her (some of the time) unable to function.

I want to live in the backseat of my kids’ cars when they start driving.
I want to go to college with them too.
I don’t know how I’ll ever let go.
I so get how she never could.

My used to be babies she knew are teenagers now.
AND IT IS AWESOME and AWFUL.

Their independence is around the corner mom.
Not sure how I’ll survive.
Not sure how you did as long as you did.

At the same time- there is no greater joy for me than watching my two kids flourish, stumble, grow, breathe and be.
And no greater sadness today than the fact that my mom doesn’t get this joy.
It takes the smile from my face.
It turns my laughter to tears.
It sucks.

She would’ve loved them so now.
She loved them so much then.

 

 

 

 

‘Twas the night before high school…

MOM! STOP!!!!

MOM! STOP!!!!

I am starting high school tomorrow!
No, I’m not.
My son is.
And I am emotional and anxious.

I remember my ninth grade year as clear as day. I remember the
Benetton logo striped shirt I wore THREE too many times. I remember my
horrible perm.  I remember walking through the hallways, seeing the
older boys I had a crush on- the ones who didn’t like me back.

I remember feeling uncertain where I fell socially.

Big shocker: I didn’t feel super cool.
I don’t think  I was super cool.
Wait. Am I now super cool?!
(No need to answer!)

I think because my starting high school FEELS like yesterday,   [Read more...]