Things my mom got wrong:
- Toni home perms
- Veggie soy patties and homemade pancakes
- Blue eyeshadow
- My friends’ names (Joanna, not Joanne, Zwayer not Zayer, Kert not Kermit, Milot not Milton)
- Leggings, aka leggins
- The back right stove burner the day after dad’s 40th birthday, when she set his pile of gag gifts aflame instead of boiling water for spaghetti.
Things my mom got right:
- Raising kids: her own, numerous 4H groups and Girl Scout troops, summer camp kids, an endless parade of my siblings’ and my friends starting around 1976 and continuing today
- Letting me fail miserably because of my big mouth and not helping me pick up the pieces
- Shipping me to Grandma Alice’s house and aunt Pam’s apartment on weekends
- Allowing me to love sports though she despised them
- Guilting me into calling her weekly
- Telling me, three weeks in advance of my husband’s death, that he would not be the only person disappearing from my life after his heart stopped, but that I would also lose friends. The caveat was that I would not, in advance, know which ones.
*originally published online 9.28.16