Sunday, April 27, 2014


I could write a book about my mother, but for Mother’s Day, I will just share my thoughts. My mother died at age 73 from lung cancer. She was a heavy smoker. She lived life to the fullest, never sacrificing, always partying. I never really knew her as a real person. In my seventh decade, I look back with some fond memories, wondering what my daughters might write about me when I am no longer here. There are always lessons to be learned no matter how old we are. I learn as I write.

Page 1:  Recipes from my mother


Page 2:  Things my mother used to say:

“Is that how they teach you to clean your room in college!?”
“Don’t wear your heart on your sleeve.”
“Put your best points forward.”
“Don’t cry; get mad!”
“I’m busy.”
“You’re going to regret this someday.”
“Where’s that new half gallon of Rocky Road?”
“Stand up tall.”
“Dress like a lady.”
“Do you want a smoke?”
“What’s on your face?”
“I got all As in high school.”
“Don’t ever leave the house not looking your absolute best. You never know who you will run into at the grocery store.”

Page 3:  Things about my mother that made me proud:

She was always dressed beautifully.
She walked tall.
She was the life of the party.
She was very smart, even though she never went to college.
She was a successful businesswoman.
She had lots of friends.
She had good nails.
She was a good interior decorator.
She kept herself in shape without ever working out.
She was a good athlete.
She was the love of my father’s life.
She made enough money to hire a cleaning woman and a live-in babysitter.
She taught me how to stash money away for myself.
She had a quick temper, but she got over things quickly.
She taught me to take typing and shorthand in high school. This allowed me to work all through college.

Page 4:  What I’ve learned from my mother about being a mother by watching her and listening to her.

Children will remember little of what you accomplished but much of how you made them feel.
Children don’t want to be your friend.
Children watch what you model more than what you say.
Children sense hypocrisy long before they know what it is.
Children learn to value what you value.
Children need structure, discipline, boundaries.
Children learn manners and rules from their parents. This is not the job of teachers.
Children learn about marriage and respect from watching their parents.
Girls learn how they expect men to treat them by watching their parents.
Children learn how to deal with anger by how it is expressed in the family.
Children learn the role of women from their mothers.
Mothers define femininity.
Daughters learn to trust women based, to a great extent, on their relationships with their mothers.
Women have to follow their hearts. Some women are not born with the “chocolate-chip-cookie-baker” gene.
(Chris makes the absolute best in the land!)

Mothers have to learn quickly how to juggle and find balance.
Mothers can’t always give the same amount of love and attention to each child at the same time. 
Mothers who try to be Super Mom ( to be everything to everyone every minute) burn out.
Daughters learn about body image from their mothers.
Daughters learn judgment from their mothers.
Daughters learn about how family is valued from their mothers.
Daughters learn as much from the absence as from the presence of their mothers.
Daughters learn quickly the conditions of being loved. There should not be any.
Daughters recognize quickly if their mothers are really “present.”
Comparing one sibling to another is crippling.

If I could say one thing to my mother today, I would say, “Thank you for what you did to make me strong and successful. Thank you for what you didn’t do that has taught me how to nurture my daughters and make them feel loved unconditionally.”

Chris, New York City, September 2013

Katey, New Years, 2013

If I could say one thing to my daughters about motherhood, I would say, “Just love your children unconditionally, and give them focused attention one at a time. You both get an
A so far! I am so so proud of you and love you with all my heart!”   mamanxoxox


                       Happy Birthday, Mom. I hope you are partying with the angels up there!