The Awesome That Is My Crazy Mother: Five Tales Of A Unique Mother And Her Seven, Sometimes Horrid, Children
In case you didn’t realize it, Mother’s Day is two weeks away. I don’t need a special day to think about my mother or to call her. I do that all the time. Instead, Mother’s Day gives me an opportunity to share the amazingness that is my crazy, awesome mother.
From childhood to adulthood my mother, Anna has been my hero, cheerleader, and inspiration. I repay her by embarrassing her as much as possible. So, Mom, get your cell phone ready. I’m waiting for your reprimand. Everyone else, here are my five favorite stories about my mother.
Mom, an inexperienced cook, is at a bit of a disadvantage. Recipes can be fickle at times. Experienced cooks occasionally omit a step or two they think is common sense. That was the problem with Mom’s Graveyard Stew.
It was supposed to be a tomato-based chicken and vegetable soup; I think. The broth was mouthwatering, and the veggies were yummy. Then Dad yelped, “What’s this,” pulling a bone out of his mouth. One by one we all found bones in our soup. Mom and Dad argued. I was crying because I didn’t like the way bones tasted and the boys complained too.
My poor mother didn’t realize that she was supposed to remove the bones when the recipe told her to shred the chicken and add it back to the soup. Later in life, she tried to make a tortellini salad, but the recipe didn’t say to cook the tortellini. I guess cooking just wasn’t in her genes, but all her children learned to cook.
Arachnophobia, The Movie
When my mother was a child, she had a traumatic experience where she became covered in spiders. She now has extreme arachnophobia. Understand, my siblings, and I love mom, but we also enjoy torturing her with horrid pranks, especially involving spiders.
Mom enjoyed 16-or-so-years of stay-at-home motherhood. She did not enjoy working but did what she had to do to help Dad support the family. Many nights my older brother and I babysat until Mom got home. One night, I can’t remember where Dad was, but my brother and I stayed up watching a video knowing it was past bedtime. As mom, pulled into the drive we rewound the video, Arachnophobia, to the part where all the spiders run up the screen. We knew she’d want to see what we were watching before she reprimanded us. So, we ran up the stairs and stared down at the living room between the railings.
My mother can shrill! It wasn’t a scream she let out. It was a high-pitched 400-decibel wake the neighbors and half the town up shrill. We thought it was hysterical, my mother, not so much. Still, thank you, Mom, for not murdering us. In appreciation of your forgiveness; I’ve put a special video for you, HERE.
She Understands and Screws Up Shakespeare Like A Pro Thespian
It’s undeniable that my mother is an insatiable reader. Once, my father took me to his bedroom to show me a project he was undertaking. Their bed was held up by all of Mom’s books. They had an antique Victorian bed, and even though the legs had been cut to fit a modern home, it was still around two-and-a-half feet off the floor entirely held up by Mom’s books. Mom read The Chronicles of Narnia and other stories one chapter a night at bedtime. She instilled us with a love of books. Even those siblings who have difficulty reading, listen to audio books.
Well, I made the mistake of becoming an honor student and enrolling in Analytical Literature. For three years I was tortured with interpreting Shakespeare. Luckily, I had Mom, who would listen to me read and help me understand what the old bard was saying. One night she pounced into the room yelling, “I am here to Ceaser him not preaser him!” I think she had a dyslexic mouth when it came to pronouncing Shakespeare.
On the other hand, Mom has an excellent understanding of the secret code Shakespeare used. I remember when I was reading Hamlet’s argument with his mother my mother suddenly grabbing my hair and shaking me saying, “How dare you marry my Uncle. Dad’s not even cold in the grave, and you hopped in bed with his brother.” As she said this, she got increasingly excited shaking my head and shoulders. I was startled that my mother roughed me up so much. In retrospect, it may have been revenge for the Arachnophobia video prank.
Dorrie is a Flying Wonder Woman, or Why Mom Should Never Trust Frank and Me to Babysit Her Precious Younger Ones
Let’s face it. We weren’t just horrid to Mom; we were horrid to each other.
One day while Frank and I were babysitting our younger siblings, our sister Dorrie stood up on top of a four-foot tall dresser with a towel tied around her neck and proclaimed, “I’m Wonder Woman!” She insisted she could fly. I was yelling back she couldn’t and must get down immediately. Eventually, she got down, by jumping to the floor. When she fell, she didn’t get up. Freaked out and worried about getting into trouble we put her to bed and told her not to tell Mom.
Guess what? She didn’t tell Mom. After three days in bed refusing to get up, Mom finally took her to the doctor. Needless, to say, Mom was not happy to find out Dorrie broke her leg and Frank and I told her not to say anything. Amazingly, Frank and I still live and breathe. Mom has the patience of a saint.
From Cloud Gazing to Claude Monet
Mom’s children may be horrid, but she enjoyed us as much as we enjoyed torturing her. We lived near an aqueduct, river and nature trail for eleven years. Mom would take us on walks all the time. We’d cloud gaze, and she taught us the joy of looking for images in the sky. They were fantastic trips of wonder.
It’s no wonder we embarrassed Mom when she took six of her seven, then pre-teen through adult children, to the Claude Monet exhibit at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Did you know there is an alligator eye in one of his famous water lily paintings? We were fascinated at all the hidden images in his paintings and announced them loudly as we found them. Other patrons glared at my poor mother as if to say, control your unruly, blasphemous children.
She’s a fantastic woman, my mother. The way people reacted to us at the MFA didn’t bother her. To this day she boasts about how she raised children who love to read and appreciate fine art.
I could write a book telling the many stories about Mom and her brood. Of course, my siblings and I would fight over the details, and it would never get published.
Maybe I’ll humiliate her a bit more next Mother’s Day. Perhaps she’ll snap finally and be less one daughter after this article.
Our mother is much loved by all of us for both her strengths and her weaknesses. She instilled us with intellect, creativity, love, and insanity. She even shared this closeness with our friends, many of whom referred to her as their other mother.
We have scattered across the country, but she gets, posts, texts, instant messages, calls, and Skypes from us on a regular basis. Mom is forever stuck with her seven dastardly kids who now fight over who gets to take care of her in her old age. (Hey guys, who’s taking Dad?)
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom! Even though your other six kids aren’t here to confer with, I’m sure they agree, you’re a better mom than we seven deserve. We love you.