Today is my mother's birthday, as you may or may not have guessed from the title of this blog entry!
She's quite a bit more awesome than anyone, ever. It's a fact.
Let me tell you a story. In highschool, when I was having some ridiculous 16 year old freak out over something stupid, she refused to let me address her as Mom, and insisted I call her Tupac. Which is brilliant, because it's awfully hard to take yourself so seriously when referring to your 50 year old mother as Tupac.
Thank god for that, really, because, with my disposition, I very well could have been someone who takes themselves waaaay too seriously.
She used to say she'd prefer that I smoked pot rather than drink because drinking was what the "straight people" did, and it was corporate, or something. She discouraged me from harder drugs by pointing out all the people she knew who had become Jesus freaks after getting off of them ("Scratch a Jesus Freak, find a junkie!," she always says)
She didn't raise me with any fucked up notions about what it means to be a woman. Which is the single greatest thing anyone can do for their daughter. I'm damned lucky to have been raised by a feminist. Even if most of the time she's so 2nd wave about it ;). I am so fucking glad that it doesn't even occur to me to sit there and be demure and let the boys talk. Back in my organizing days, even among radicals (fuck, especially among radicals- see, because they usually consider themselves "exempt" from sexism, which makes them 80,000 times worse)- I was usually the only woman talking at meetings. And no matter how hard it was to get a word in edgewise, I did it. And it just has never occurred to me that what I have to say is any less important because I have lady parts. I have my mother to thank for that.
In my life, I have never met anyone as funny or as smart as my mother. And I'm not just saying this because I love her and she's my mom. The woman is freakin' brilliant. She can solve the Sunday crossword in pen in an episode of Law and Order, and thinks nothing of it.
Because of my mother, I don't just throw my opinions out there without being able to back them up. I learned how to know my shit.
People love my mother, because she makes them feel important and interesting. She actually finds everyone interesting- I wish I did, maybe it will come with age, I don't know. Like, this one time when she was at the Barcelona Olympics, I think, she met this Mormon kid (and, by the way, my mother is quite the athiest), who ended up writing to her the whole time while he was on his mission. I'm serious, people just absolutely love her.
I am trying so hard to not let my anger get the best of me. I am trying to not, as she says I have a tendency to do, make sweeping generalizations, and theorize everything.
The best thing about my mother is that she always makes me want to be a better person.