10 Things I Love About My Mom

My mom’s birthday was Saturday, January 19th. I was late getting a birthday card in the mail to her, so it’s probably arriving to her sea-side condo outside of Boston on Tuesday (today, when you read this). 

I feel kind of cruddy that she’s getting a card from me several days after her 78th. Generally, I’m tuned into these sorts of details, particularly where it comes to my mom.   

When I told her the card I sent would arrive late, she said, with zero trace of I’m saying one thing, but I mean the opposite,“Don’t worry about it, Honey. I know you love me and wish good thoughts for me on my birthday.”

Her insistence that I not get her a birthday gift this year is another story, but as I sit in my kitchen nook on this rainy Sunday morning in Portland, just having hung up with my mom, I’m wondering, again, how I got so lucky in the Mother department.

No exaggeration, my mom is one of the most sincere, generous, and truly loving people I know. 

Truly loving. 

That’s my mom. 

I opened up my notebook, and probably because I recently looked through Connor and Maddie’s baby-books for their birthday, a list poured onto the page for my mom:

Things I Love About Mom…

1.    The way you now sign-off from many of your emails and phone calls with, “I love you, Honey Bunch” – reviving the affectionate name your sweet dad used with you.

2.    The way you cheer loudly for your beloved Red Sox and Celtics from your pillow-laden bed, late into the night. I love your dedication and delight being a Boston fan – another gift from your dad.

3.    The way a Brigham’s mocha-almond ice-cream cone with Jimmies lights you up -- and has for as long as I can remember.

4.    The way you looked, sitting in the kitchen-nook chair I’m sitting in now, my notebook in your lap, flipped open from the back, writing to the prompt “In this moment…” as you waited for the household to wake up over Thanksgiving break. You took in the world outside the windows and put it on the page – along with what was on your mind and in your heart. You did this two mornings in a row, and when I came into the kitchen, you were bursting to share. JYour writing those mornings was so beautiful.

5.    The funny stories you share from your Activity Director days at the nursing home and the touching stories from your inner-city teaching days in Philly. Your kindness and compassion Super Powers, mixed with humor, touched SO many hearts, young and old.

6.    The deep love you have for all animals, but especially for elephants.

7.    The way more and more, you prioritize your friendships -- scheduling regular coffees, lunches, and movies. Most of your friends you’ve known for decades, when we kids were tiny. All of them love you, support you, celebrate you – and vice-versa. “The quality of our relationships correlates directly to the quality of our lives” said Esther Perel repeatedly in a talk I just watched. How blessed you are to have these amazing women in your life!!!!!

8.    The way you unapologetically cherish your alone time, leisure time, Netflix and reading and puttering around the house time…

9.    The way I can always hear in your voice when you’re sad or angsty, and your predictable response when I ask what’s wrong is a little laugh, followed by, “How can you tell?”

10.  The way you insisted last week, almost annoyingly so because you can be quite pushy ;-) that Maddie and I watch the Netflix documentary on the late make-up artist, Kevyn Aucoin. You’re a self-described make-up junky who admires and appreciates style, fashion, and beauty. Yet, it’s the heart and humanity of people that truly pulls you in, like this man’s huge talent and profound struggle to find love and acceptance in his short life. 

You are so special mom, and I love you dearly. 

Happy Birthday.

XO,






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