I dedicated my first novel, HONK IF YOU HATE ME, to my mom with the line “For my mom, who showed me that girls can do anything.” My mom has always been my role model. She raised four daughters, she joined the work force at a time when “working woman” was synonymous with “secretaries who fetch coffee for male bosses,” and she worked her way up through a male-dominated field to become a successful investment counselor. Along the way she kept up her smile, her creativity, and her irreverent sense of humor, and she showed that it really is possible to stay married absolutely forever in a country where divorces tumble from gumball machines with a single quarter and twist of the wrist. Yeah, that’s a strong female role model alright.
Now I get to enjoy my mom in a new way, as the grandmother to my three boys. They adore her, and I know why. She’s channeled all her amazing qualities into this role, giving the boys experiences that only she could deliver. No one could teach the boys to cherry pick an orange from a tree like my mom, for instance. No one can fashion a tow cable out of twine quite like my mom. And no one, absolutely no one, can offer my children the toys that my mom can. In some stunning act of clairvoyance, she saved a whole bucket full of wheeled goodies from my own toddler years. My Fisher-Price safari jeep and trailer, a circus train with three separate cars, a Star Wars Landspeeder . . . How did she know to save those particular toys? When she socked them away, did she grasp on some level of consciousness that she was saving toys that would one day enrapture a set of car-crazy triplet grandsons? I’m sure she’d say “no” if I asked her, but I’d still wonder.
Today is Mother’s Day, and I’ll be spending it with my mom, my role model, my friend, and the best grandma ever invented.