My Mother’s Day

My mother taught me to read when I was so young that I do not have a active memory of it. My memory device (I think it is referred to in medical texts as a “brain”) started to record life when I was two-and-a-half, and in my recollections of moments spent with my mom and books, I am an active participant in the task at hand: our endless laughter at the very idea of eating green eggs and ham (the “and ham” was my favorite part), our (re-)discovery of the Cat in the Hat’s many hijinks.

Mother’s Day, the annual holiday, is one whose date I annually forget. It is perhaps because it is celebrated on different dates in different nations and I have online friends in some of those different nations that “Happy Mother’s Day” Facebook posts make a weekly appearance in the spring. I think that I have sent my own (American) mom a Happy Mother’s Day note twice in one year thanks to this phenomenon.

Today is not Mother’s Day; it is my mom’s birthday, my own Mother’s Day.
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A Hot Drink for My Cold Heart

“But what is it?” my friend asked.

I repeated what I had just said: “It’s a Starbucks ‘Caramel Apple Spice.'” (I think I even said “Starbucks,” even though we were at that moment sitting in a Starbucks and we certainly knew where we were, because it is impossible to mistake a Starbucks for any other anything. But sometimes when I open my mouth, an advertisement flies out.)

“Yes, but caramel apple spice what? Coffee? Tea? Soup?”

I did not have an answer. What is it indeed? “I don’t think it’s coffee.” I fell back on the charm of insane repetition, something I have not perfected over the years: “Its a Starbucks Caramel Apple Spice,” and I used my eyebrows to tell my friend that she wanted her own one, too. (Picture Groucho Marx.)
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Me and Mr. Claus

I know Santa Claus, which I know sounds like a tall tale …

I do not remember the moment I learned that the many Misters and Missuses Claus that we encountered in person or saw on TV were “not real”; the fact that there was no “a-ha” moment leads me to assume that I never bought the story. Maybe so, maybe not. There is at least one photo of my sister and me in a “portrait with Santa,” and I remember the typical session. I knew, just knew, that the fellow was not Santa, and I did not feel betrayed by this; I knew it was a guy overheating indoors in a snowsuit for reasons related to “things grown-ups do.” It did not make much sense to me, to be a grown-up wearing a snowsuit indoors, but I did not envy adults the many things that they did, said, claimed, acted as if, and always eventually emphatically insisted made sense.
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