My Mom’s Birthday
Today is my Mom’s birthday. Which is cool. Yesterday was actually my Dad’s birthday. They were born the same year, in the same hospital, a day apart. Neat, right? I often tell people a story that involves their fathers speaking to each other in the waiting room but that’s a flat out lie…. I just like how romantic and poetic that sounds. If I’ve ever told you that story, I apologize for the bold faced lie…. I can’t promise you its the only one I’ve ever told you/will ever tell you. In fact, go ahead and assume I’ll tell you something completely bogus like that again, most likely in the near future.
I’m actually not sure how old my Mom is. For the first twelve years of my life, any time she had a birthday she’d tell me she was turning thirty. My Mom has always looked good and I never really thought too hard about it…. I didn’t second guess her bold faced lie until my brother hit his thirtieth birthday and I put two in two together. I didn’t feel betrayed or anything. Just amused. Like hopefully the select few of you I told the mom/dad/parents/hospital waiting room bull shit to. Harmless lying. Fun lying. Not like the lying that led to my on-going custody battle in Central Florida. Amanda, I’m ready to talk whenever you’re ready to grow up and listen.
I suspect a lot of people had mothers who drove them back and forth to play practice or soccer practice or voice lessons or whatever and my Mom is one of them. Chicken nuggets in the back seat of her van, as we drove down Turner McCall Boulevard back to our house from the Rome Little Theater. The CD player blasting whatever CD I’d forced in. My Mom knew the lyrics to both ‘March of the Falsettos’ and ‘Falsettoland’ like she’d done the San Francisco regional premiere.
On my tenth birthday, the only thing I asked for as a birthday gift was an agent. And I really meant it. I wanted an agent to send me out on all the illustrious child auditions in Atlanta, Georgia. By my tenth birthday, my Mom had somehow found some one woman talent agency (operated out of the basement of a strange house with a lot of dogs and manilla envelopes). Out of seemingly thin air, my Mom found exactly what I wanted. Despite it’s ridiculousness and I’m sure, her better judgement.
I often think about what my Mom was thinking when she was my age and if she ever imagined having a kid like me. Someone who calls her and cries out all his manic chaos about why he can’t get out of bed today. Someone who calls her in an up swing and sounds even more chaotic and crazy as he babbles on about how ‘I’m gonna buy you eight beach houses one day, JUST YOU WAIT!!!!’ Or if she ever imagined the drives back and forth from the community theater, the putting her son on an airplane to move to New York City, simply saying ‘Yes’ when I decided I didn’t want to go to high school, or just understanding me no matter what.
She never once questioned my wants. Never once tried to make me be somebody else. Never once told me to take off a dress or a wig or put on a jersey. She sat back and watched and loved and listened.
I’m glad she’s my Mom.