Friday, November 08, 2013

Happy Birthday Mom!!

I always rack my brain when my mother's birthday comes around, trying to figure out what gift to give her.  You know, I want to express my love to her and all, but buying her something seems so fake.  Not to mention she needs more shit in her house like she needs a swift kick to the head (although maybe that would stop the zombie...hmmm).  You see, my wonderful step-father, Bob, is a hoarder.  Just kidding, he's not.  Just kidding, he is.  Not a filthy, gross hoarder.  He just buys a lot of things.  Car parts, pens, coins, collectible cars, law books that he probably hasn't opened since 1993, paperwork, things he buys at flea markets, etc. (I love you Bob, and I love all your things, but maybe it's because I don't live with them!)  To give my mom something that is going to clutter her house is totally unnecessary.  So this year, I'm going with a blog entry!  Happy birthday mom, from your cheap ass daughter.  I do love you with every ounce of my body and then some.             

When I was a little girl, I would LOVE it when we would bake pies.  (She makes the best lemon meringue and banana cream pies you've ever tasted.)  But when it was pie making day, it was OUR day.  I LOVED helping you in the kitchen.  And I truly think you welcomed my help.  I never felt like you were just appeasing me.  You're the reason I love cooking.  I would get my little chair and bring it over to the counter to stand on and you'd let me use the pastry cutter to cut the flour into the lard (don't judge my mother... the woman knows that lard makes the best crust).  Then you'd let me pour the ice water over the flour-y, lardy, goodness while you mixed it all together.  We make a great pie making team.

One day, we made a few pies that were baking in the oven and you noticed that we had some extra dough lying around.  So you rolled out the dough, had me spread butter on it and then sprinkle it with cinnamon and sugar.  Then we rolled 'em up and cut them (you'd make little notches along the roll to indicate where I could cut them...I loved that you allowed me to wield a knife, and trusted me with it at such a young age).  Then we put them on a cookie sheet and baked them at 350 for about 12 minutes.  They ended up turning out so delicious.  Like a crunchy, flaky cinnamon roll.  I remember I never had the patience to let them cool either.  I just dove right in, burnt the hell out of my mouth every time.  And it became our tradition.  When we'd make pies, we would intentionally make sure there was JUST enough dough to make our little treat.  And they made me feel SO VERY special.   

The strange this is, I'm not the biggest fan of pie.  Maybe it's because no one else makes pie as good as yours.  Maybe my taste buds just changed and I lost my pie taste buds.  We both crave savory things over sweet.  Maybe that's why I don't like pie.  Who knows what my aversion to pie is. 

Now that the weather's cooler, I often crave chicken pot pie.  So the other day I went to the store to get all the ingredients.  And when I came to the pre-packaged pie crust, I was flooded with the memory of you and I making pie.  It must be because I miss you.  So I skipped by that section and rushed home to make a homemade pie crust, because I needed to feel close to you at that point in time.  And I did make one.  And I left some extra dough.

I'd mail you one of our special cookies, but I ate them all.  What a selfish kid you raised!!  I kid, I kid.  :-)

I just thought you should know that even though we haven't lived close to each other for a long time, you are always close in my heart.  I have these little moments often.  Sometimes I catch myself eating pretzel rods while reading a book, twirling my hair, like you used to do.  I always feel close to you.  Not a day goes by that I don't think about you.  I'm so thankful that you are who I was destined to come from.  You make me a good person.  You have always supported every decision I make and encouraged me to dream. You have always given me the necessary tools to make or break myself.  And sometimes I choose to break myself.  And every time that happens, you are right there to pick me up, put back my pieces and send me back out there fighting.  Never with any shame, disappointment, or judgement.  Just absolute, honest, unconditional love.  And I can't thank you enough for that.  You're special to so many people, because you're special.  You're my rock.  You rock.  Period.  I love you so much.  If you are fortunate enough to be near my mom today, give her a great, big birthday hug from me.  Happy Birthday, beautiful momma.