April 19, 1933 is an important date in history for me. It marked the birth of two blonde bombshells.... Jayne Mansfield and my Mom, Pat.
It's interesting comparing these two.
Obviously most of us are aware of the terribly tragic accident that took Mansfield's life in June of 1967. It occurs to me that while Jayne was in that horrific accident, my Mom was learning to keep her head through the years as she faced the inordinately daunting task of raising six children.
Where this is leading, as we approach Mother's Day, is looking at what and who mothers really are.
They are the women that get up in the middle of the night for the 2 a.m. feeding... or changing that nasty diaper (my father did this ONCE, yes once... and my mother NEVER asked him to do it again!) She is that woman who sat up all night with a washcloth and rubbing alcohol desperately trying to reduce that fever. She had what I call the 'thankless' cooking detail... performing magic with hamburger, learning the ability to get over a 72-hour flu bug in 15 minutes. What impresses me so much are not just those women who give birth and raise their loved ones, but those women who willingly and lovingly take on those responsibilities of raising those children they could not naturally conceive, the ones who adopt children and take on those inordinate responsibilities. What courage and selflessness!
So many times they are referred to as adoptive mother, but it occurs to me that a parent, whether a man or woman, is the person who takes on the responsibility of raising a child, of caring, of loving, of taking a child through the myriad of milestones as they careen from birth to adulthood.
As we approach Mother's Day this year, I want us to all honor those women in our lives who are our mothers -- naturally born, chosen or those who intentionally chose us --whoever that special woman is who has been an integral part of our lives.
I am so glad that my blonde bombshell of a mother who quickly learned to wear unashamedly those atrocious chenille bathrobes with dots of spit-up on the shoulder (sorry, there is just no nice way to say that) became so much less important than getting that vital burp out of a nursing child.
Did she make mistakes along the way? Yep, of course she did, just like we all do in all over our relationships... but I think that the overriding sense of love more than mitigates those slips here and there.
So here is to MY blonde bombshell: Patricia Laird Hitchcock, who I am going to work to remember not to honor not just on the upcoming Mother's Day celebration, but EVERY day... and enjoy her each minute of each day, as she has recently entered her 82nd year. And I also lovingly include some special aunts who know who they are who also took on a lot of mothering roles in my life.
Here's to you, Miss Blonde Bombshell of April 19, 1933.
I am so glad that I was lucky enough to be able to help shape you into the wonderful mother you have become! Here is to the next 82 years as we continue our quest.
Much love to you Mom.