For Mom

It could be that I suck at being a son because I never send mom a present or even a card.  I always remember to call.  She thinks I don’t remember and will sometimes call me with some silly excuse to talk to cover for what she thinks is my forgetfulness.  That’s how cool my mom is.

“Thanks” just doesn’t go far enough.  After the car accident (thanks a-hole drunk driver) mom gave up a lot to have me.  Throughout my life she did so too.  She found a way to work at home, and made numerous sacrifices for Jenn and I that only now do I recognize.  Seeing what my mom did for me throughout my life is much clearer now that I am a parent and try to place what I learned from her into context with Taylor and Haley.  In a lot of ways I think she did a much better job than we are.

I was spectacularly disrespectful to mom. Dad too, but more mom just cause I was a bad kid and she was around more, especially each day after school.  But there are lots of great memories that made me who I am.  I wonder if these anecdotes are some of the same ones she has for me.

I remember her teaching me to drive by letting me sit on her lap to steer in the neighborhood on the way home.

While I am blind as a bat and have trouble doing it today, I can still see clearly mom’s sewing class at the JCC and threading needles for her students.

I remember how happy she looked when grandpa came to pick me up on Sunday mornings to take me out to breakfast or Friday nights to go to shul.

I remember the birthday cakes and how long it took her to make each.  Spaceships, trains, cars, no matter what crazy shape I wanted, mom was getting it done long before Buddy on Cake Boss.

Some are funny and more contemporary memories.  Like my quilt.  The last (and I think only) hand-stitched quilt mom ever made was for me.  She absolutely HATES it, but it is really special to me.  I was maybe 10 and wouldn’t let her do any patterns (“no flowery paisly crap mom”) except one polka-dot and she thinks the colors are boring.  But to me it is earthy and plain and I love it.  If you have ever seen what mom can do with scissors and a sewing machine, you know what having a completed project actually means.

I love watching mom show the girls her butterflies and how she brought some chrysalises (that is spelled correct, I had to look it up) on the airplane up here from FLA so the girls could watch them hatch.

I remember the time she brought a whole suitcase of fresh grapefruit on the plane (before the surcharge days) because I asked how their trees were doing.

Mom loves shipping us stuff and everytime a UPS box arrives, we always get a kick out of quessing what it will be (even if we forget to call).

My mom is really cool and while she drives me nuts, she wouldn’t be who she is if she didn’t.  And who I am, what I feel, how I think, what I hope for, is all affected by her and what she does every day, even now, to make me a better and more likeable person.

Thanks mom, and happy mother’s day.

About Josh Rutstein

I am an aspiring entrepreneur and hopeful political candidate. Father of 2 very special girls, husband to an amazing woman, and passionate American. I snowboard whenever possible and follow a 20x mentality for exercise. I also play golf and ultimate frisbee and am a die hard New England Patriots fan and season ticket holder. Everyday I wake up wanting to make this country a better place, someday I hope to actually succeed.
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