Pick Me!

A weblog by Laura Moncur


Happy Birthday, Mom!

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

I sometimes wonder what it was like for you to have your birthday so close to the Fourth of July. You always share your birthday with the country that you live in. Does that make you more patriotic? Does that make you less? I think I would end up resenting Independence Day, but you don’t seem to mind it. We give you presents and then light things on fire. Fireworks for your birthday. Maybe that’s not so bad. What is it like?

It’s hard for me to contemplate your birth. What was it like? You were almost an only child because your nearest sibling was 15 when you were born. There was no hair pulling. No one stole your clothes. No name calling. No sharing. No one to blame when you broke the hair brush. Was it a shock to get to school and find out that kids played by a whole different set of rules than adults? What was it like?

Growing up Lutheran must have been entirely different than the upbringing that I had. Did you plan that? Did you sit in services thinking, “When I have kids, I’m not going to make them sit in services”? Did you enjoy going to church? Were you proud when you got your Confirmation? Did they have a party for you? Did you get to wear a white dress? What was it like?

Being a military wife must have been hard. I imagine you alone with your hairy baby trying to make the monthly check last the entire month. He would go out to sea for what seemed like forever. Did you feel abandoned? Was it a relief? Was it exciting to be stationed in Virginia and Kenosha? Was it just like Milwaukee except less urban and nothing looked familiar? What was it like?

Then you were divorced. You deservedly kicked Dad out and you held strong even when he played his mind games and empathy tricks. It was Dad that told us about the divorce, but you showed us how it should be done. You were positive about him, even when my ten year old eyes could see him trying to use us as bargaining chips. You defended him and even now, you tell me that I should be respectful. How did you do it? When you knew that he was unstable, how could you still be so honorable? How were you able to keep the thought, “He’s still their father” in your mind so vividly? What was it like?

There’s so much about you, Mom, that I don’t know. You’re such a private person. I’m more like Dad, with my life and my thoughts and my dreams and my hopes all lying in the open on the coffee table where anyone could see them. My past is openly spoken about. My future is openly hoped about. My present is shared as it happens every day on the web. There is so much about you that I don’t know and I don’t think you’ll write a book about it any time soon. Is it because you don’t want us to know or do you think it’s not important in the big scheme of things? Well, it’s important to me.

I got you a present for your birthday, even though you always tell me not to. I understand your thought process. You don’t feel like you need anything, so you don’t want presents. Presents are just more stuff you don’t really need. I understand. I have found myself feeling the same way, yet I still want to acknowledge your birthday. You’re important to me, so I buy you a present and hope that you like it. If you don’t, tough luck. Give it to the DI. Happy Birthday, Mom! I love you.


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