Happy Birthday Mom!

Prompt #57: Wings

Cheesy as it sounds, the first thing that came to my mind when I read this prompt was Bette Midler’s song, Wind Beneath My Wings. And my next thought was of my mom, because, well, that’s what she is to me, and that song always brings tears to my eyes because it makes me think of her. Doesn’t hurt that today just happens to be her birthday as well.

My mom is truly my best friend, *the* one I turn to in times of happiness, sadness, and every emotion in between, and she has always, always, always been there for me. She’s never disappointed me. Not once. Ever.

Is she a saint? Well, sometimes I think so, but as far as I know, she hasn’t performed any miracles. Well, other than managing to remain a kind, loving person after what one could only euphemistically call a rough childhood.

But that’s her story, and certainly not mine to tell here.

What I can tell is my story, or rather ours from my perspective. How I became best friends with my mom through weekend and once a week visits. How she sacrificed custody of my brother and me when she left my father because she knew that’s what was best for us. We had already been growing up in a house with my father’s family; she saw no need to pull us from the stability. Besides, she was working the 3-11 shift at a hospital a half hour away–not the easiest hours to maintain when you have a 2 and 8 year old.

Of course I didn’t know any of this until many, many years later. But oh, how I appreciate it now. I marvel at the strength it must have taken to do something so unselfish, and I only hope I’ve inherited and/or learned half of what she’s exhibited.

And so, during my formative years, we got the best of the mother-daughter relationship (shopping, intimate chats, watching stand-up comedy into the wee hours of the morning on HBO, trying all the new restaurants) without all the daily annoyances (curfews, how much time we hogged the bathroom, begging permission to do things). Who woulda thought I would’ve ended up with such an idyllic childhood after my parents divorced when I was so young?

Now a lot of the goodwill that sprung up between us came because my mom let me be my own person, within boundaries of course. Controlling and domineering, she’s not, but she’s not a complete pushover either (although even she would admit to being more of the latter when it comes to her kids).

One of the stories she loves to tell, and that I have come to admire, is that I was always allowed to pick out my clothes–from the choice of a few pre-selected outfits. That way, she reasoned, I had the feeling that I was in control and making my own choices but at the same time didn’t leave the house in horribly mismatched, embarrassing outfits. Genius!

And that’s why I love my mom. She guides without pushing. She listens without judging. She loves with all her heart without taking.

And sometimes I think she’s more than the wind beneath my wings–she just may be my wings themselves.

Happy Birthday Mom.

And thank you. For everything.

32 Beans of Wisdom to “Happy Birthday Mom!”
  1. Bongga Mom
    04.29.2007

    You are blessed to have such a wise parent and caring friend in your mother. With her as your inspiration, I’m sure you’ll make a great mother too!

  2. Shelby
    04.29.2007

    What a fantastic post! I’m so glad I visited your site and found a new favorite today.. take care.

    shelby

    shelbydupree.blogspot.com

  3. Delina
    04.29.2007

    Happy birthday to your mum!

    Your relationship with your mum sounds very similar to mine. My mum too is my best friend.

    A perfectly put post.

  4. Vanessa
    04.29.2007

    This is such a lovely tribute to your mother. I’m glad you know how lucky you are.
    Those daisies are fab too!
    Vx

  5. BecsLifeOnline
    04.29.2007

    Happy birthday to your mum, and what a beautiful description of your relationship with her.

  6. Janice (5 Minutes for Mom)
    04.29.2007

    wow she sounds wonderful!!! how amazing of her to let you both stay at your father’s family’s house. That must have broke her heart!

    Happy Birthday to her!

  7. JennDZ
    04.29.2007

    Wow, that was really sweet!
    Happy birthday to your mom!

  8. Sharon
    04.29.2007

    Happy Birthday to your Mom.

    That is something every Mom wishes to hear from her daughter or son. Glad you can say this to her.

  9. Cherrye
    04.29.2007

    This makes me miss my mommy…. :-(

  10. Carole D.
    04.30.2007

    A very beautiful and touching tribute to your
    Mamma. It must have broken her heart to give up custody, but she did what was best for you and your brother, although we don’t realize sometimes until many years later.

    I hope my daughter will view me as her best friend in the future.

  11. cheeky
    04.30.2007

    My mom is also my best friend and I can relate to the sentiment you shared about your mom.
    There is something so unique and ever so special about mother daughter relationships.
    Beautiful post and delighted to hear you have such a fabulous mom. I can only imagine how much you miss her.
    Birthday wishes from the blogging community to your mom.

  12. Becca
    04.30.2007

    What an inspiring post! It’s great to read about a good mother-daughter relationship for a change :)

    Happy Birthday to you mom, and many more!

  13. strauss
    04.30.2007

    What a lovely tribute to your much loved Mum, you will certainly make her smile on her birthday. I hope my kids think that highly of me when they are older.

  14. Jeni
    04.30.2007

    Beautiful tribute to your Mom. She sounds like she had very good judgement and wisdom in her part of your upbringing.
    I see by the comments here one of my “favorite” bloggers has already been by your place. Check out Shelby’s blog as she always has some beautiful pics and nice words for her readers too.

  15. James Burnett
    04.30.2007

    Cool blog. I found your site through Jen’s Down River Drivel.

    Calabria is a beautiful place. I spent a good portion of my childhood on Sicily. My family lived just outside Palermo, in a sort of unincorporated area. Best time of my life.

  16. Mouse
    04.30.2007

    How lovely. The kind of mother that I would love to be to my Ragazzi. I keep on trying…
    Belated brithday greetings to your mama

  17. Poppy Fields
    04.30.2007

    Your mom sounds like a wonderful woman, happy birthday to her!

  18. Deb G
    04.30.2007

    I’m part of the “My Mom is my Best Friend” group too. I’ve always felt so lucky to have that kind of relationship with her. I’m sure your mom was really touched by your post-it was great!

  19. goodthomas
    04.30.2007

    This is beautiful Sognatrice. I am sure you have told her these things before, but does she read your blog? This would be an amazing thing to read, as a parent. I hope she reads, she would be most proud (though I am sure she already is, tenfold).

  20. gautami tripathy
    04.30.2007

    I have a great relationship with my mother. She is my anchor in times of crisis.

    I really loved your post. Thanks.

  21. Erin
    04.30.2007

    Your post leaves me with longing. It’s too much to really go into, but you are truly blessed to call your mom best friend.

  22. laxlaw
    04.30.2007

    You knew you’d make me cry, didn’t you. Knowing you, and through you your mom, this is really beautiful. And I know she doesn’t need to read this to be proud of you. I hope I have as strong of a relationship with Megan. Love you!

  23. Ninotchka
    05.01.2007

    What an absolutely gorgeous tribute. Kudos to you both!

  24. Shan
    05.01.2007

    I think our Mom’s would have a lot in common.

    Very beautiful post. Happy birthday Mom!

  25. sognatrice
    05.01.2007

    Thank you everyone for your comments and birthday wishes for my mom–we both appreciate having you in our lives :)

  26. sarala
    05.01.2007

    Beautiful. You and your mom are lucky.

  27. sognatrice
    05.01.2007

    Thank you, Sarala. We are lucky and very grateful.

  28. Rose
    05.01.2007

    That was so lovely.
    That song makes me cry too…
    Thank you for sharing that with us.

  29. Mari-Noëlle
    05.03.2007

    A saint, I can tell!… Your description of your mother reminds me of mine… a saint too…

    The last part of your post (wings) is beautiful. Have you read “love unconditionally”, a post of Corey’s (at “Tongue in Cheek” on April 29th)? If you haven’t, try and pop to that entry… I bet you will think it worth the while.

  30. Janet
    04.29.2010

    sounds like she made some hard choices that all turned out for the best :-) Happy birthday to her!

    Thanks Janet :)

  31. Kristin
    04.29.2010

    Sniff…sniff … Just beautiful Michelle.

    Thanks Kristin :)


Recipes

 

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Homemade apple butter
Green beans, potatoes, and pancetta
Glazed Apple Oatmeal Cinnamon Muffins
Pasta with snails alla calabrese
Onion, Oregano, and Thyme Focaccia
Oatmeal Banana Craisin Muffins
Prosciutto wrapped watermelon with bel paese cheese
Fried eggs with red onion and cheese
Calabrian sausage and fava beans
Ricotta Pound Cake