Thursday, March 29, 2007

Happy birthday, Mom! (and Fan Mail)

Today is my Mom's 65th birthday. I can't believe she's 65. She can't believe it either. She shook her head on my 34th birthday and said to me, "How can you be 34??? I'M only 34!"
It's impossible to state in words what she means to me. Giving me life is one of the small things she has done for me.
Mom taught me the following things...and I am sure millions more!
1. How to iron
2. How to cook
3. How to laugh
4. She showed me what a great blue heron was
5. How to write a thank-you note
6. How to plant a flower
7. How to read
8. How to be a lady (Stop laughing)
9. How to love
10. How to be a good mother

The many sides of Mom:
She stayed at home with my brother and me until we were teenagers, to give us a good start in life. She made us eat our vegetables, then let us eat ice cream. She loved and respected my father. She didn't cuss around us until we were adults. She can make me laugh hard enough to almost wet myself. My first memory of her...I was three years old, and I was pushed down a flight of stairs by a friend of my brothers. When I came to, my Mom was holding me.
She did all the diaper-changing in the household ( I don't remember this, I was just told) (Dad never changed ONE diaper in his life!)
The scent that brings my Mom to my thoughts is Odalisque, even though she doesn't wear it anymore.
She somehow put up with my teenage-angst stage, which ended just recently. :)
Every day I would come home from school and share with her all that I had learned that day. She called all the tidbits "Susan's Pearls of Wisdom". Two Christmases ago, I gave her a box with a note on it: When I was young, I gave you pearls of wisdom. Now I can give you the real thing." A strand of pink pearls. She cried. It was fabulous.
She was there to witness the birth of both of my children. When Isabelle was born, there came a time when I started screaming that I couldn't do it anymore (I was in labor for 38 hours) and she had to leave the room. Lorelei slipped out like a peeled grape, and Mom was there to see it and stated that Lorelei looked just like me.
When she was delivering me 34 years ago, the doctor said, "I can see the head" and my Mom yelled for everyone to STOP so she could tell them about the dream she had. She dreamed that she had a little girl named Susan and she had black curly hair. The doctor said, "I don't know about the girl part yet, but you got the hair right!"
(I was born with black curly hair, by the way)
She gave me my green eyes and curly hair, my voice and my attitude. But most importantly, she gave me the whole world.
I love you Mom, with gaggles, and bunches, and flocks, and tons, and bouquets...times infinity.
bridal shower mom & me

My job at RAPTOR, Inc. is rewarding enough, telling folks about birds of prey. I meet great people who are interested in learning more, kids who are awestruck by our birds. But what I love the most is the fan mail. I get letters from kids mostly,
thanking me for coming to their school.
Recently, I received a huge envelope with 50 letters and pictures from a school and the kids drew pictures of their favorite birds.
Here are my favorites: (Click to see the intricate details) :)

Fan mail 1
So what if I wasn't wearing any pants. She sort of got my hair right.
Fan mail 4
I love the little mouse on the right, under the heart.

Fan mail 3
It looks like they learned something. The large owl is carrying a rat (or is that a dachshund?) and the little owl is carrying a mouse.
Fan mail 2
Another likeness of me...Of course, the owl is three times bigger than I am. The red and blue boxes on the right are the carriers we use to transport small birds in (the kestrel and the screech owls).
Cute, huh?


LauraHinNJ said...

Fan mail from kids is the best! You must feel really special.

Lovely tribute to your mom. Hope she'll read it. The pearls story is something.

John said...

Happy birthday to Susan's Mom.

Rachel and Kevin said...

Happy Birthday Eileen!

Trixie said...

Your mother should be proud of your ode. Lovely! Fan mail -- what a cool thing.

Lynne said...

That was a really lovely tribute to your Mom. Lucky Mom, lucky you!

Liza Lee Miller said...

Coolness! Great Moms make great moms! :)

(We'll have to exchange labor stories . . . I had a 40 hour labor with Ruth!)

Your fan mail was fantastic! So cool.

Mary said...

If you ever get tired, that fan mail should keep you going!

I sure hope you Mom reads this post, Susan. She'll be thrilled. It's probably the nicest B-day gift she'll ever receive.

NatureWoman said...

Happy Birthday to your Mom! What a great post to a your Mom!
I love the fan mail - thank you for sharing it with us. It must be so much fun to go through it when you receive it!

Body Soul Spirit said...

Great picture of you and your mom and a lovely tribute to her. May she have many more happy, healthy birthdays. I love the perspective of the children's drawings. Maybe that owl was 3X bigger than you in that child's mind.

Dave said...

Happy Birthday Mom!

mon@rch said...

Happy Birthday to your mother and so glad that she has taught you so much! Also, love the letters from the kids! Very special and so glad that you added them to your blog for us to share also!

Beth said...

I am going to share a memory of Susan's mom. When we were kids, we were all out at Nancy's and your mom and dad came too. (I don't remember if you and Steve were there; you might have been too old and cool for family stuff) Your parents got lost along the way so they were late. When they finally got there, your parents got out of the car and your mom said "well, I'm pissed!" We thought that was the funniest thing we ever heard because we had never heard an adult use that word before. Suddenly your mom was the coolest relative around in our eyes. For a long time that's how we distinguished her from other relatives. :)