Mom's the Word

I have the world's best mother. Yeah, I'm aware that lots of folks say they did or do, but if you ask around people in the know will confirm this claim to be true.

Our family grows and gathers awesome moms. While I don't see my stepmother enough, she's a keeper. My cousins have beautiful, brilliant children, a testament as much to their parenting as to genetic jackpot; so does, mind-blowingly, my little sister — two girls, who each look amazingly like she did at their ages in different ways, and one boy, who's the spitting image of his Uncle Brian way back when. And of course there's my mother's mother, great-grandmom to eight kids (one heading to college this year) and still a lady I enjoy talking to. No lie.

I was 7 years old when my mom and dad split up. Mom did a heck of a job raising my sister and me, with considerable help from her own parents. We stayed with them often, including every summer after my parents' separation up to my high-school years, and I was lucky enough to live with them on my own after that as I worked a summer job on the parking lot behind their old store. Now and then back in the early days I'd wonder if we weren't one of those families in which my mom was secretly, actually my older sister, because she was so youthful and cool while my grandmother would wait up for all three of us, Mom and my sister and me, to come home from a night on the boardwalk. I have a good bit of my grandfather in me, helping make the case, but also far too much of my own dad for it to really be a plausible scenario. And besides the fact that my grandmother was 54 when I was born, somebody would've spilled the beans by now.

Yet it continues to astound me how our mother managed to be not like a mom and exactly like a mom, each in the right ways. One afternoon, not too long after we'd moved from the Jersey shore to the Philadelphia suburbs so that my mother could pursue her doctorate and we could attend a school system with more to offer, I turned on the television to see Phil Donahue tackling the issue of "latchkey kids". Apparently,
I was a latchkey kid; I wore a key to our apartment around my neck so that I could let us in after school, and often prepared snacks or even dinner when I got older if our mom was going to be home late. We lived in a complex of apartment buildings with plentiful grounds and lots of kids for just this reason; we had a school bus; we had fresh air and babysitters when necessary and friends' homes nearby that didn't require negotiating street traffic. I never liked the phrase "broken home" and, despite it being a more neutral in description, I never liked the phrase "latchkey kids" either. Mom did all she could to give us a rewarding life, and we simply helped her raise us.

I don't have sons or daughters of my own, but I still hold out hope that I will one day. Apparently I'm fairly qualified to be a father; I relate well to children, I've been told that I hold babies appropriately, and earlier tonight I lost my television remote. Should I become a dad, if I'm half the father that my mother was, the kids will turn out fine.

Related: An M and E Post The Fab-Four Score Stella Saner 1916-2016


  1. What a great tribute to your mom - and all the women that had an impact on your life :)

  2. You're such a mensch, Blammo. Word to your mother!

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  4. Hadesbra: Great word!

    I'll post the alternate-timeline theory ASAP, Dog 'n' Joanie Show, but the napkin was grabbed up by Nikki and only she knows its current whereabouts. Like I said on Sonshine's or Nikki's blog, if not both, the visual aid was (as Kevin rightly pointed out) laughably uninformative and redundant to what I was saying.

    So did your kids feed you boiled brains in bed this morning (or whenever you creatures get up)?

  5. No, no, I was woken up at 5:45am by a baby who was only communicating through growls followed by her yelling "Dinosaur!".
    My husband had to work all day so I spent the day at the park - where it snowed! Apparently, it has snowed here every month but August. When I first came here, I was amazed that a civilization had sprung up. It was -50 with the wind the first winter I was here! (And that's not just in Celcius. Are you aware that the thermometers meet at -40? And that 28 Celcius is 82 Fahrenheit? Well, it is. I still have no GD idea what tempertaure it *actually* is most of the time: "It is 16 degrees out!" What the Hell does that mean? Also, the thing I love about Fahrenheit is that is so dramatic: "It is 100 degrees outside - we are all going to die!" while in Celcius it is: "It's 37 that hot?") I saw old people and babies out and about - while I cried as my quadriceps caught on fire from the cold. I was punk at the time and had two rings through the top of my ear that froze within 10 minutes while waiting for a bus.
    My friend later gave me 2 shot of Canadian Club and then used pliers to remove them from my frost-bitten ear. "Now you are one of us." she said. It was a great day, all told.


  6. And this, ladies and gentlemen, is just a taste of what you'll get at J.C.'s own delightfully crazy blog.


  7. When I first came here, I was amazed that a civilization had sprung up.

    Given how old you are, I'm surprised to hear that too. (Zing!) The snow everywhere, that's to be expected: Hello? "Ice Age"?


  8. I wanted to make sure that you knew you didn't repost any part of the comment you deleted, by the way, Joan Joan on the Range. I'm not trying to bring up a sore subject, and I have no idea what in there you decided shouldn't be seen (nor is it my business — I'll even delete this message if you want me to), but since I can't find your E-mail address anywhere I just wanted to say, y'know, Hadesbra was funny, and I also think it sucks that comments can't be edited like blogposts can.

  9. I think I sometimes forget that these blogs aren't exclusive to only the people I am aware of. I have no problem telling you guys but then I was like "Hmm, there are some really freaky little twistos out there...delete."

    It has been a long while so I am able to talk about the bad and happy to talk about the good.

    I really wish you could edit too! Goddamn all-or-nothing Blogger.

    I have a freakishly large amount of email addresses, most I can no longer remember the passwords to. But here is one that works: joancrawfordcalling

    Also, I never do the email follow up comments and so I check some people's blogs a concerning amount of times. And by some people's I mean yours - Ha!