I never saw many pictures of my mom in her twenties. She always implied that it was because she spent them being enormously fat and hence camera-shy. This picture I just stole from my cousin’s Facebook page (thanks, Maria!) would imply she (on the left) was in fact quite cute.
I should have known she exaggerated. It’s like how for years my sister and I thought dry cleaning cost twenty or thirty bucks a pop because whenever our mom came across a “dry clean only” label while shopping, she dropped that item like it had bitten her. Even if it was a $2 skirt at Goodwill. Imagine our surprise when we discovered, well into adulthood, that dry cleaning usually runs in the low single digits.
But what are moms for if not to skew your worldview? Above all, my mom was a fan of letting us form our own via literary exploration. I just listened to a story on This American Life about the Harlem Children’s Zone, which encourages parents in low-income areas to read to their kids. Apparently that gives them a leg up in life more than any other factor. Studies on such topics were probably slim in the late seventies (though if they were out there, there’s a good chance my mom read them), but she loved reading, believed reading saved her life, and there was no way she wasn’t going to share that with her kids.
Clearly, she created a monster. I’m so appreciative. And kind of envious of my aunt Vanessa’s Amy-Winehouse-but-healthy ‘do.