Monday, June 18, 2012


I titled this post Moo-ooom to remind my mother of what I called her as a teenager - Mom, with two syllables and a whine in the middle.
I love my mom, I really really do. I don't live near her, so I only see her maybe twice a year, and sometimes I don't talk to her every week, but I think about her everyday.
She is the most unintentionally funny person I know! She says the most hilarious, sometimes shocking, things in a completely wide-eyed, guileless way. She left a comment on I wrote a post about Knick-knacks that to me is funnier than the whole post. I makes me laugh every time I go back and read it.
The key to her funniness is that she is completely not self-aware, and unfailingly honest. And she has no filter between her brain and her mouth. Like the last time I was at her house, I noticed I had put on one red shoe and one brown. Laughing, I asked my mom if she noticed anything wrong with my outfit. She looked me up and down, nodded, and said, "That sweater!"
Just like she doesn't know she is a fount of inadvertent zingers, she doesn't know she's beautiful. Isn't that an old country song? Anyway, my mom has been blessed with thick, wavy, dark brown hair, jade-green eyes, and beautiful light olive skin. She has a natural, unpretentious beauty. She never went in for trendy, artificial hairstyles and makeup. Truth be told, she was a bit of a hippy during my childhood. No makeup, long, long flowing hair. I didn't like it then. It was the eighties, and I wanted her to have a perm, waterfall bangs, and side wings, (all carefully constructed with an entire can of White Rain hairspray) contoured blush, and blue eyeshadow. Possibly lips lined in a darker color than her lipstick. A Dynasty-esque suit or a funky Cyndi Lauper outfit would have been appreciated. I am glad she didn't take fashion advice from eight year old me. I look back at pictures of her from childhood onward, she was always gorgeous. She just had no idea she was. She thought she was a plain, homely little thing.

She's the chubby-cheeked brunette in the middle.

My grandpa, my mom, and her blond siblings.

She still looks like this. I see that expression all the time. I think her eyes look a lot like my sister's in this picture.

Matching her sweater to her eyes. I really want a cardigan and shirt just like that!

Here she is in the mid to late eighties, not that you can tell from the complete lack of garishness.

This is my mom and her sister Lisa when my mom was about six months pregnant with my little brother. She was thirty-six.

Isn't she cute in a hat? Looks like my dad thinks so.

Judging by the size of my brother, Mom must have been over forty here. Can you believe it?

I love to see her smile!

My lovely sister and mother. Don't they look alike?

Painting Suzy's nails.

Mom in her fifties. And see, I put up a picture of me before I lost weight because it's a good one of her. That's love!

Mom with her siblings Mike, Lisa, and Sherry.

She's even cute organizing a VBS.

A girls day out with her friends.

See? Beautiful!
She thinks she looks old now, but really, she is fifty-four, and people would think she was not quite forty-five. If she keeps aging so slowly, soon people will meet her and ask me, "Oh, is this your little sister you're always talking about?" (While that might be an understandable assumption, I would still kick you in the shins for asking.)
My mom also doesn't think much of herself as a mother, and that may be partly my fault. I am always writing the funny things she says or does on Facebook. I can't help it. She's comedy gold.
My mother was simply the best mom I could have had growing up. For some reasons, I remember a lot of things when I was three. We lived in an apartment in Springtown, Texas, that year, so I know anything I remember in that setting must have been when I was three.
That year I found a piece of notebook paper in the bathroom. It had markings on it. It was probably a grocery list, but it interested my little self. I took it to my mom and asked her what it was. She told me, "Oh, it says..." I don't remember what she said after that, because I asked her how it could say something? It can't talk! So she explained to me letters and how they make words. She used a white crayon to draw puffed letters on black construction paper, and cut them out. I thought those were pretty spiffy letters. My mom sat on the floor with me, and helped me move the letters around to make words. I still remember the black letters with white outlines spelling "LORI" laying on the floor.
From that year, I remember her making yarn pompoms with me, reading Sesame Street books to me regularly (two distinct memories: Mom reading a new Sesame Street book to me on a blanket outside Granny's house, and at Grandma's house during a storm, while I sucked on a green safety pop. I hate green lollipops, I don't know if that's why it stood out. I vaguely remember Aunt Sherry replacing it with a purple one.) I remember her making orange jello squares with shredded carrots in it and telling me it was delicious. It probably wasn't, but I totally fell for it. Mom, you were Deceptively Delicious before it was a thing!
I remember her in the kitchen of that apartment. There was window overlooking the dining nook. I was sitting in the nook at my child's table (I think it was an Apple Dumpling table, but I'm not certain.) I asked her, "Mama, can I pray to the devil?" She said, "No, you can only pray to God, not the devil."
"Not even to tell him how much I don't like him?"
"No, you can never, ever pray to the devil."
I still really wanted to. I thought somebody ought to give him a piece of their mind. But there was my mom, calmly keeping me from toddler Satanism. Actually, I must have really freaked her out. When I was that age, I mainly colored with black and brown crayons, mostly ghosts and vampires. She probably dropped a pan of carrot jello when I brought up the devil.
I remember hearing her and Daddy talking and laughing one night while I was in bed. I got up, and she told me it was New Year's. (That would mean it was just two weeks from my fourth birthday.) She let me drink some of her eggnog, told me Happy New Years, kissed me, and put me back to bed. It was probably 8:30, but still. I felt as if I had discovered some wonderful secret of grow ups. They stay up late and drink eggs! It was lovely.

Three year old me. I'm the frilly one in the middle.

There was also the rather painful lesson she taught me about justice, when I told my little sister that we should push her doll carriage, then my grocery buggy, off of the second-story landing of our apartment to see what would happen. When I saw what happened after I pushed hers off, I changed my mind about the buggy. I considered it a lesson learned. My mother did not. In probable addition to a spanking I don't remember, she made me give my precious, precious buggy to replace my sister's busted carriage. I sulked on that one for a long time. I mean, come one! Wendy let me push it off. I clearly had consent! Now I would just like to say thank you, Mom, from keeping me from becoming a total little terror.
That's just my memories from my third year. I have thirty more years I could tell about! I love you, Mom. I think you are completely wonderful in every way. You are a treasure in my life. I am forever grateful that you are my mother.


  1. Lovely! I love Carol and the gift of laughter she continually gives, often without knowing it. Becoming her friend has been a wonderful experience.

  2. What a great tribute to your mom! You likewise are an amazing mother that I respect and admire!