Today is my mother's birthday. I will not embarrass her by telling you her age, but I wanted to publicly wish her a happy birthday. Happy birthday, mom!
And in honor of my mother and her birthday, I thought I would share some stories about my mom.
Growing up, my mom, like all mothers, did her fair share of embarrassing me. It all started with her being my middle school's Sex Ed. teacher. You read that right. My mom taught me and all of my classmates Sex Ed. I often got picked on--"let's go listen to Shauni's mom talk about vaginas!" I want to shrivel up and die just thinking about how embarrassing middle school was because of my mom's job.
And it didn't stop there. My mom let me have a slumber party once. I remember having all of the cool and popular girls over and they were exploring our house, when they all came back to me and said "why are there pictures and artwork all over your house with naked women??" Uh, because my mom is an artist and she appreciates the human body and has an eye for good art. Why do you ask? It isn't normal for your parents to have random pieces of artwork around the home that show off and embrace the naked body? I had no idea.
In high school it was also pretty bad--although happily married to my father, my mother (and entire family) supports gay marriage and the rights of equality for all. But instead of just voting that way, my mom has always had a rainbow "celebrate diversity" sticker on the back of her car. And another one that is bright purple and says "TOWANDA" really boldly ("Fried Green Tomatoes). I hated getting picked up from school by my mom. People always stared and asked if my mom was gay. To a 14 year old in a redneck town, that was social suicide.
I can think of another time when I had some of my friends over and my mom was making dinner. My friends asked "hey, Mrs. PB, what is for dinner?" And my mom replied, calm, cool and collected "we are having rice and chicken titties." My friends about died laughing. I never thought much about this word, as my mom said it all the time--since my sister Tia and I were infants, it was just not taboo and a dirty word in our house. And my mom always says "chicken titties" instead of chicken breasts when we ask her what is for dinner.
Now that I am a wise and sage adult, I look back at the embarrassment my mother caused me and I smile. Those things are not embarrassing! They are GREAT! They made me a better person, with wonderful and strong beliefs. I fully support sex education in schools and believe that our youth should hear about their options and not just abstinence. I fully support gay marriage and love the movie "Fried Green Tomatoes." And Mr. G and I occasionally even throw around the word "titties" when describing the cut of chicken we are having for dinner. I love and support my mother in all that she does, and I am beyond proud to call her my mom.
Except for when we are out to eat in a crowded restaurant and she loudly starts discussing her upcoming colonoscopy. Then I am back to being embarrassed again.
Lots of love and happy birthday, mommykins!
Your daughter, Grams.