First, before I go into my Mother’s day schtick, a quick story. We were grabbing a late lunch in the kitchen after shopping when a catbird landed on the oriole feeder that hangs from the eves just outside the door from the kitchen to the deck. I realized I could sit inside the door at an angle and be pretty inconspicuous to birds on the feeder. I ran downstairs, put a telephoto lens on the camera, returned and pulled a stool up to the most advantageous spot. All I had to do was wait, I was sure I’d get a great shot. I started lining up the shot and focusing in on the feeder when I realized that the neighbors 25 year old son was in the hottub and if he happened to look around as I was taking a photo of a visiting bird, it would appear to him that I was taking a photo of him, in the hottub. That would be just too weird. The bird photography will have to wait.
We had a nice Mother’s day, did a bit of grocery shopping, came home and spent a couple of hours video chatting with our far flung daughters. I love talking with my girls, although when the three women of the family get going it’s hard for me to get a word in. I’m so proud of them, they’ve turned out to be independent, talented and charming, and it’s a blessing to me that they’re both involved in the arts. Plus the men in their lives are also artists. We have our own little family salon. Becky being the “woman prominent in high society,” required by definition.
A lot, probably most of the good qualities of our daughters comes from having Becky as a mother. Her technique for raising strong daughters combined fierce love with a refusal to coddle. I was a much softer touch, and the girls, of course, knew it. But early on we agreed that we would present a united parenting front and I think we did pretty well at that.
Now let’s talk about MY mother. My mom coddled me a little too much I think, but only out of love. I was a late comer, born when she was 42. I was pretty sick in my first year, had pneumonia three times before my first birthday. I think that left her with the idea that I was fragile. Enough of that though. She had an amazing sense of humor and when she got together with her two sisters, it was like a comedy act. When she would make some wisecrack at the dinner table, my dad would say, “Real funny, you ought to be on Ed Solomon.” For some reason he always said “Solomon.” Must have been some inside joke.
I’ll tell you one thing, my Mom should be sainted for putting up with me. I was a classic case of ADHD, before anyone had ever heard of it. I could have been the poster child for Ritalin. My sister, who was in college when I was 6 or 7 must have been taking a child psych class and seriously suggested I see a shrink. I think some of my teachers did too. I did well in classes, but was a total pain in the ass to the teachers. “Bobby bothers other students.” Mom of course was, “Oh noooooo. Not little Bobby.” She couldn’t possibly be in that deep a state of denial. I’m sure that she suffered greatly from the thought that she’d brought a psycho into the world. I feel bad for my parents, when they should have been happily settling into empty nesting, they were stuck with a bratty little kid.
The photo on the right was taken at our wedding. Around that time Beck said to me, “Your Mom has such beautiful hair.” I gave her an amused look and said, “You’ve never seen my mother’s hair.” She always wore fancy wigs. She loved Becky. I’m sure she was glad I’d found someone who was up to the challenge.
Here’s to Moms.