Today, my mom turns sixty years old.
A bona-fide Army brat, she spent much of her childhood in Japan post-World War II, then moved to Virginia (a place of which she still speaks with enormous fondness). She graduated from UC Davis with a degree in English (which she put to excellent use correcting our juvenile grammatical mistakes–she couldn’t seem to do anything about my over-fondness for parentheses, though), married my dad, lived in Santa Barbara while he finished school, then devoted the next ten years of her life to raising my sister, my brother and me. When Benjamin started kindergarten, she returned to work as an elementary teacher and has been hip-deep in the exciting world of classroom shenanigans ever since. (Ask her about No Child Left Behind. Go ahead, just ask her.) After Benjamin left for college, she returned to school and earned her master’s in science education.
She’s been an incredible role model for us all, demonstrating the true meaning of putting family above everything else. She first took care of our Grammy through the last few years of her life, displaying amazing patience in the face of Grammy’s senile dementia and sometimes obstreperous personality. Then, when Uncle Pete became too sick to take care of himself, she opened her home to him and invited him to live with her and Dad until his death last year. Despite her busy career and her ongoing adventures in remodeling the house, she’s always planning her schedule around her next visit to one of her kids–not to mention the regular three-week summer ritual of the Descending of the Grandchildren.
She’s also a champion reader, ATC maker and window shopper, and there’s no one better on the planet to stay up late with over foo-foo coffee and mint Milanos.
We love you, Mom–happy, happy birthday to you!