Since I’ve become a mother, I have appreciated my own mother. All the good things, the bad choices, the silliness, all of it. Mom made my childhood fun! She once squirted water through the screen of the den where we were all watching TV. Dad, being the ultimate player, jumped up and chased her around the house with said hose until he threw her in the pool. She was, and still is according to her grandchildren, a skillful backpedaler when presented with any small or slimy creature from the garden such as worms, garden snakes, and dead mice from the woods. (The cat liked to join in on that last one.) She did this with aplomb, screeching all the way while instructing us to “Get that THING out of my kitchen NOW!!”
And when it comes to food, Mom is the best cook in the world. (Disclaimer: If Nana ever gets a computer and is reading this, I’m just saying Mom’s the best cook because she’s going to read this, but it’s really you.) One of my friends once said it perfectly when she told someone my mother could look at a crowd of girls her daughter had just brought home unexpectedly, then look in the freezer and proceed to create a seven-course meal. It’s true. She can. I’m serious.
The most useful skill my mother has shown my brothers and I is how to laugh through adversity or at least not fall apart. She taught us to stand strong when presented with any number of tragedies or serious hurdles in life such as medical diagnoses, deaths, and basically anything life can (and will if you’re an O’Brien) throw our way. Enduring the bad with grace is the only way you can really appreciate the good in life. It would be nice if bad things never happened, but they do, so why not handle them with grace and laughter?
So, in honor of this past Mother’s Day, I wanted to write about my mom. For all the ways you taught me to be a good mom, and to cook, and to laugh at everything life hands me, I thank you with all of my heart. (I think I’ll get my super soaker ready for when the kids come home.)