Tag Archives: birthday

Mom wants to see you

As a kid, I used to always tell my Mom that I was never going to move away from her.  “I’m going to live with you forever,” I would say. 

And, deep down, I think there is a small part of her that wishes I was still under her roof.  Despite the fact that, like most kids, I was the worst possible roommate.  Never cleaning anything up or paying my share of the utilities.  Constantly asking for money or favors.  And feigning illness to get out of all manner of things. 

 Part of the irony of being a mom is that your kids don’t truly appreciate everything you did until they are on their own, or off starting their own families.  When they are sitting up with you when you get sick at two in the morning or driving you and your friends to the movies, you just think that is part of her job description. 

Unlike the moms of the June Cleaver era before me, my Mom worked for most of my childhood.  But while she might not have been there in pearls, with a big piece of chocolate cake waiting for me when I got home from school, she devoted all of her time off to me and my brother and sister. 

My Mom and her Mom.

 

Den mother, field trip chaperone, and unpaid sales rep for every calendar, raffle ticket and piece of candy that was pushed on me by my school.  My Mom held all of those positions and never complained once. 

My Mom and Dad worked very hard to make sure that we were always taken care of.  We may not have always got what we wanted, but we always had what we needed.  (And usually most of what we wanted)  There was not a Christmas that went by that my Mom did not elbow her way through an angry mob of moms (the worst kind) at 7 a.m. to make sure that we had that season’s big toy.  And despite an incident in which I may or may not have kicked the Christmas tree and verbally berated Santa, I now see that the Bat-cycle is just as good as the Batmobile. 

There was also never a summer in which she didn’t plan a road trip in whatever non-air conditioned vehicle we were driving in at the time.  From Disney World to the Tommy Bartlett Water Show in the Wisconsin Dells, I have seen it all.  And you have not really lived until you have seen a water ski show and water-cannon “Tribute to the Music of Elvis” while wearing a heavy fall jacket. 

My Mom is one of the kindest and sweetest people I have ever known and has always let me know how proud she is of me.   She has believed in me even when I haven’t given her much reason to do so.  As a “doesn’t live up to his potential” student, my Mom has sat through her share of parent/teacher meetings.  And even when Sister Christian (who was not nearly as cool or rockin’ as the Night Ranger song of the same name) let her have it in particularly brutal evaluation of me, she still knew that I could do better. 

While my Mom is sweet and a little innocent (so innocent that she only realized what the “doobie” in The Doobie Brothers meant about 5 years ago) she is also capable of giving  a look that can stop you in your tracks and chill you to the bone.  While it was mostly utilized for putting an end to horseplay, I believe that it’s use was briefly considered for putting an end to the Iran Hostage Crisis in the late seventies. 

My Mom purchased every sweater in this photo.

 

As I get older, it is hard to imagine that I was that little kid in the picture above.  But I know that there is someone out there, for whom I will always be her “little” boy.  And in a world that gets a little crazy sometimes, I could not dream of a more comforting feeling. 

I know that I can always count on my Mom, and someday I hope that I can follow her parental lead.  (I need to start working on my “look”) 

So, while I may not be able to live at home with her forever, I hope she knows that I will never be too far away. 

Happy birthday Mom.  I love you.

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He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother.

Looking good and feeling good in leisure suits that couldn't get too close to an open flame.

All of us have friends that we have made because we shared a class or a neighborhood,  but there is nothing like a friendship with someone with whom you have shared pair after pair of hand-me-down pants.  For me, that friend is my brother Sean. 

There is an old saying which states that you can’t choose your family, but somebody up there was sure looking out for me when they chose my brother. 

Like most younger siblings, I have followed Sean in just about everything I have done.  I followed him as we walked to grade school.  I followed him to high school and college.  When he started wearing parachute pants…..well, I stayed behind on that one.  

This Sunday, he is leading the way to a place that the little kid in the picture above never saw coming.  He is turning 40. 

Last week, I wrote about watching Sean’s two sons, and while I was with them I couldn’t help but look back on my relationship with my brother.   While most kids can’t wait for their younger siblings to stop pestering them, there was never a day on which Sean wouldn’t make time for me.   With his friends, it was always understood that his weird kid brother was part of the deal.   (And I was most definitely weird) 

Why would the 6 Million Dollar Man have a picture of himself on his chest?

He is someone who I always looked up to, even if he would change the rules of Freeze Tag mid-game if he was losing or always make me play Tonto to his Lone Ranger.    As kids, he was the good one, and didn’t always make the greatest partner for youthful shenanigans.  He would roll over on himself (and me) in a second if our parent’s discovered that we had peeked at the racecar set they had bought us for Christmas.  I played dumb, despite the fact that there were really only two possible suspects in the house. 

This may be damning him with faint praise but, of the two of us, he was most definitely the cool one.   Whether he was going through his preppy “Sweater Boy” phase or his skater look which led to my Dad sending him back to the barber when he came home with a feathered mullet, Sean was the Theo Huxtable (or insert a current cool kid reference) of 622 Lynn Haven Ln. 

He has always treated everyone like a friend.  When he was young,  he would ask kids that he met in line at the store if they would like to come over to our house. As a teenager, he brought over kids who didn’t have any family in town to join us for Thanksgiving. As an adult, he makes his living by helping people. 

My brother is a devoted father and husband, a great friend and the hardest working person I know.  As he turns 40 this weekend, I can only hope that I can continue to follow in his footsteps. 

You are my brother.  I love you.  

Happy birthday Sean.

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