It's my mom's birthday. What I remember most about May 14th is the lilacs that grew up the side of our house and on the morning of May 14th, or Mothers day, whichever came first and they sometimes fell on the same day, we would make a breakfast of muesli and toast and orange juice (mixed with water, she always liked her orange juice with a little bit of water) and pick stems of lilacs and put them in a jelly jar of water and carry it all upstairs to mom, still sleeping, and the room smelled of lilacs.
"Are you hungry? Do you want a sandwich" my friends say when we talk about my mom. Because whomever walked in the door, she would feed her. Sliced apples and peanut butter and tuna salad with dill and apple pie and popcorn and chees and Stoned wheat thins and hummus sandwiches. She'd bring us trays of snacks and lemonade, whether we were 10 or 25, my brother and I and our friends, lounging with our feet on the round newspaper scattered coffee table.
Later, as I got older, my mom and I have sleepovers. We make big salads and watch movies (usually with devastating ending that leave us both red-eyed and sniffling). My mom calls me every Saturday and sometimes we talk for an hour and sometimes, by the way I say hello, she says "You're in a bad mood. I'm going to call you later." She has an instinct. There is an unspoken language between us that is perfect understanding. What I have with my mom grows and evolves every year of our lives, but we're some of the same person and some two parts that push each other and what she teaches me is pure love without boundaries and absolute truth and that if I just wait and stop and breathe, one breath slowly after the other, it will be ok.
When I gave my mom a copy of my book she printed it and tied a string around it and put it on her dining room table. "We just have to get used to each other, get to know each other a little bit before I start reading," she said. She knew the book was like a new person in my life, she just wanted to get to know him.
I love you, mom. Happy birthday.