the beach at Arbroath, Scotland

2 March 2004
a letter from the unplanned pregnancy

today's my mom's 50th birthday. happy birthday mom.

i say this now without irony or reservation: i really have the best relationship with my mom.

last time she visited me, she brought a cd that my uncle tom had made. he had scanned all the pictures from my mom's side of the family, from my grandparents' honeymoon to Niagara Falls in 1951 to my Uncle Jim's college graduation (which i very dimly remember). it was amazing to see all the photos, literally hundreds, maybe thousands, all neatly arranged in folders by year. i kicked myself for not having a working cd burner. we couldn't look through all of them, obviously, but i skipped back and forth between the 50s and the 60s and the 70s.

these are the things i know about my mom:

she really loves teaching. last week i stopped by her school to have lunch with her. she ends up having at least a dozen kids eat lunch with her every day. she seems so in her element and is so good at what she does. she stays at school until 8 o'clock at night on a regular basis.

she often falls asleep before 9 pm.

she never seems to read the books i give her. i attribute this partly to the above.

she isn't that interested in music...well, not the way i am. she likes it for background. though she did steal my copy of The White Album a few months ago and has yet to give it back.

she seems to think i like canned soup, as she brings some with her nearly every time she comes to visit. i do not.

she is rarely ever satisfied with her body. i wish she would be. she probably wishes this for me, too.

she loves yoga.

i think she really wishes sometimes that she didn't end up in Lebanon, Pennsylvania.

she gives me gas money all the time.

she writes me letters that i never respond to.

she, my sister and i all have the same shoe size. she takes all of our castoff shoes.

she has been known to wear denim jumpers, though not in recent years.

i was an unplanned pregnancy. the day she got the call that she was pregnant with me was the last day she smoked a cigarette.

she has a beautiful loom in our basement that she hasn't touched yet. i know she must want to, though.

she likes her shorter hair.

she willingly cancels hair appointments when i come into town so she can spend more time with me.

she loves my dad.

she buys me yarn.

she has beautiful hands.

she's 5'8" and the shortest one in her family. i am 5'5" and the shortest one in our family.

she has always supported me, no matter what i wanted to do.

i've always tried to support her, no matter what she does.

i took this picture of her about three years ago. she hates it. i love it.

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