Thursday, February 07, 2008

Happy Birthday Doris

Today is Doris' birthday. She turned 82 and it goes without saying, is still going strong.

I gave her a call this morning, to wish her many happy returns of the day. I have a feeling that she would love it, if she knew how many fans she has on the internet. However, I also know she would be very hurt if she read some of the more frank descriptions of my childhood.

She would tell me that she had done the best she could and the thing is that I realize now that she really did.

She lived through the Great Depression and WWII. She, someone who I don't think ever really wanted children, managed to rear 5 of us to the best of her ability. Her marriage was not a happy one in many respects and it hasn't been until the past 25 out of 60 years of marriage that she and my father have been able to coexist peacefully. She is a difficult person, but she has had a difficult life.

She certainly made up for a lot of her lack in parenting skills with pure entertainment value. While any example she may have set for us has been of the "What would Mom do?" and then doing the opposite variety, there is a value in that.

Doris does seem sometimes to get crazier every day. The niece and I will occasionally have "How crazy is Doris now?" discussions. We will try and keep tabs on who is in favor and who is in the doghouse. What scheme is she cooking up, in order to get her own way? What has she managed to slip under the radar, and what will she do next?

My mother is the last of her family, having outlived her brothers and her sister. All she has left are her husband and her kids. She doesn't make it easy for us, but I know that she loves us in her way. I think she looks at life as a fight and she is not about to let down her defenses and let life take it's course.

So, if she is going to spin out the remainder of her years as an elderly, female Don Quixote, who am I to stop her. Her windmills keep her going as long as they are out there to be tilted at. She will keep finding some wrong that requires redress, even if it is a wrong only she can perceive.

Maybe as a mother she is teaching me one final lesson, and that it patience.

Happy Birthday Doris and many more.