Just a friendly reminder that Mothers’ Day is this coming Sunday – have you shopped yet? Hurry, hurry! Bonus #240 of working in publishing: free books make perfect gifts for all occasions. (Spoiler alert, Mom!). I was hoping you might indulge me a few minutes in honor of this impending holiday to say a few words about my own special lady.
The thing about my mama is, she’s a pretty great gal. Her name is Bernadette but her pals call her Bebe. Her kids call her Bernie, Bernard, Bern-dawg, Beans, Bernice or Schmoopy, a bizzaro nickname we invented somewhere around mile seven of a fifteen hour family car trip. She is undoubtedly the backbone of our family and a source of warmth and strength for all around her. Everyone who knows her loves her. It’s impossible not to love The Schmoopster, it just is. She’s smart and funny and snarky and warm and wise and giving and would jump in front of a stampeding herd of wildabeasts to protect her loved ones. So basically she’s Simba’s dad from The Lion King. Except still alive. And not a lion. Or a king. Or voiced by James Earl Jones. What I’m trying to say is: she’s the best. I’m lucky she’s mine.
I’ve been blessed, we’ve always been close. I know there were times where it wasn’t perfect and I was a bit of a snotty brat or she was being like, SO NOT fairrrr, Moommmmmm, but for the most part, we’ve always had a strong and open relationship. I know that can be a rare thing, so I don’t take it for granted.
A few weekends ago, she came up to New York for a visit and we had the most wonderful time. Long walks and museums and lots and lots and lots of wine. The best parts of the weekend for me were between the wandering and wining and dining. Saturday evening after dinner we sat up talking - in my kitchen with ice cream and then on my bed like a slumber party, and then again Sunday morning over mugs of coffee on the living room couch with the windows wide open to the sun. We talked about family history and future goals and worries and hopes and memories and her life and my life and I felt like we connected and communicated in a way we never had before. It is a strange thing to enter into adulthood and suddenly see your parents on a similar plain. She’s still my mommy and I’m still her little girl, but things are different now. I’m an adult and have my own life and am flying further and further away from the nest. I know this will continue to change as I check off additional life boxes like marriage and babies and things. That weekend, staying up late, talking, I felt like we clicked, like we hit the right groove on this new phase, as two adults. I felt as though I got to see and hear new sides of my mom and she opened up to me in a new way. And on the other side, I sensed myself as a grownup, in a good way. It’s hard to explain, as I sit here to type, but I feel I already know that our hours chatting here in my little Brooklyn apartment will be something I cherish forever. Can you know that after just a week? I’ll say you can. I was genuinely sad to see our weekend come to an end.
I feel myself becoming more and more like my mom every day - in good ways and in ways that make me cringe: "I’m becoming my mother!" Sometimes when I’m exhibiting certain traits that drove us nuts growing up - say slight bossiness (we just know best!) or worrying (it’s a crazy world!), my siblings will call me Bernie Junior. They’re being jerks, but I take it as a compliment.
I can't think of anyone I’d rather grow up to be.
So happy (early) Mothers’ Day, Schmoopaloop, and thank you for all you have taught me and shared with me and passed on to me. I think you’re just the best.