Anyway, I also decided that I would best celebrate my mother’s birthday by thanking her for a few things that I don’t think I ever have thanked her for, at least not much. So, mom, here are a few things to pat yourself on the back for today. Thank you for:
1. Making me do my own laundry starting in 7th grade. While I still don’t always treat the final, cleaned product any better than I did the first time you decided to make me do the sorting, washing, and folding myself, the fact that I had so many years of it by the time I got to college gave me a huge advantage over the ridiculous number of freshmen, girls as well as boys (take that, stereotypes…?) who had never before done so much as put in detergent or pressed the “start cycle” button. It’s also made me a little less paranoid about the fact that I now use a washer very possibly older than the fall of the Berlin wall and have no dryer, meaning that for once I am totally validated in air drying everything (and knowing how to use a drying rack like a pro).
2. Putting up with all of my weird dressing habits with little or no commentary, including the “I only want to wear leggings” stage, “I only want to wear dresses” stage, and “I hate everything and am going to wear the same zip-up sweatshirt every day of 7th grade” stage. The fact that you never told me I dressed like an idiot/skank/teenage stereotype allowed me to eventually become good at wearing whatever I wanted, not just whatever was “cool”, cheap, or available.
3. Taking me to thrift stores. Seriously, without the exposure to Goodwill at an early age I would not have developed the addiction to not only thrifting my clothes, but also dumpster diving, accepting hand-me-downs, and otherwise using whatever came my way. This means I would not have about 85% of my current wardrobe, 90% of the furniture I had the last two years of college, 20% of my stuffed animals/jewelry/other odds and ends of living, and the general ability to realize the re-usability in everything. Not to mention a lot of the money I have from not buying those things.
4. Teaching me to knit. Like 5 times. And when I still didn’t get it, letting me figure it out. While sewing did not work out quite so well, you still gave me a skill that makes me feel creative while also impressing others way more than it seriously should. If any of the people who ooh and aah at my knitted vests saw me try to, for example, ice skate, they would have a very different idea of my gracefulness.
5. Accepting the ridiculous decisions I have made and, often, actually encouraging them.
“Can I go to a Norwegian Language camp in northern Minnesota for a week with someone I’ve never met in person?”
“I think I want to go to college at a Lutheran school despite being an angry agnostic at the present time.”
“Hey, why don’t I go to Eastern Europe for ten months?”
Yeah, seriously, parents have disowned their children for less.
Happy birthday, Mom.