Since Mother's Day is approaching, I thought I'd take the opportunity to jot down a little thank you letter to my mom Melanie. Perhaps if we were 'normal,' it would be inappropriate for me to publish something so personal on a blog (particularly a fashion-related blog). We, however, by no means qualify to be classified among those who fit the definition of normal, which is yet another reason for me to thank her. As for this blog being fashion-related, my goddess-of-a-mom Melanie taught me to sew at the age of 5 with a needle, thread and scrap fabric, so there. (And let me tell you, the works of art I created for my stuffed animals could absolutely be recognized among the ranks of the most brilliant designers in history).
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You are the best mom in all the land. You have pretty hair and great eyebrows. And a very nice singing voice. You are really good at drawing. And you always smell clean. You also have a stunning sense of style. And so, in honor of Mother's Day '10, I have compiled a list of various things for which I'd like to say merci.
1. Thank you for allowing me to express my personal style as a 4-year old (mainly via spinny dresses and costume jewelry), and taking me to my favorite tea room-style luncheons (in said outfits), and letting me order those weird pink cream cheese sandwiches (with the crusts cut off). Those were some of the best days of my life.
2. Thank you for reading to me every single night between the ages of 1 day and 10 years. Edie Changes Her Mind and A Baby Sister for Francis rock. Forever.
3. Thank you for teaching me to respect the earth and appreciate nature, to be open-minded and nonjudgmental, and to think outside the box, which I'm certain wasn't easy in homogeneous, conservative suburbia. Along with this, thank you for making me organic baby food from scratch and saying no to sugar-filled cereal and processed cold cuts, regardless of my whining about how the kids at the school lunch table gave me their cheetoes and twinkies out of sympathy.
4. Thank you for helping me win third place in my middle school science far by teaching me how natural mordants react with herbal dyes, and for devoting so much of your free time to making certain we had an amazing herb garden in our yard, with fresh herbs available at all times. (And, of course, for even naming me after your favorite herb. How many other Melissa's were actually named after Melissa Officinalis, aka the deliciously fragrant, lemon-scented perennial herb in the mint family Lamiaceae?)
5. Thank you for making me those special dinners of scrambled eggs, baked beans, and apple sauce when dad worked late. I will always associate those meals with feeling safe and happy. And although I did not inherit your green thumb (see herb garden thank you in #4), I did inherit your disinterest in cooking. Please pass the take-out menu, thankyouverymuch.
6. Thank you for teaching me to be polite.
7. Thank you for not murdering me and/or putting me in some sort of juvenile detention facility between the ages of 13-1/2 and 16-3/4. I will leave this one at that.
8. Thank you for being part of the 'Triple BFF Brigade' that is you, sissy and me. Cocktails and Sex in the City? Yes, please.
9. Thank you for coming to all of the ballet recitals, violin and choir concerts, football games during the cheerleading years, art exhibits, plays, and fashion shows. And I mean all of them.
10. Thank you for listening to my desperate, tear-filled ramblings via telephone (often several hours long) during my "I'm still finding myself" years.
11. Thank you for letting me get - and wear - those pleated Guess overalls, tightly pinch-rolled and accessorized with splatter-paint jelly earrings and a belt fashioned from a powdery pink bandanna. And for giving me an Olgilvie Home Perm. And letting me wear that super-shiney Revlon Zinc Pink lipstick. I can only imagine the tears you held back as your fashion-victim-of-a-daughter paraded around the neighborhood in all her 1980s glory.
12. Thank you for not only allowing, but encouraging, me to follow my dreams. This is a big one.
13. Thank you for telling me that the dance routine I choreographed to Billy Ocean's Caribbean Queen and subsequently performed for you, repeatedly, was "brilliant."
14. Thank you for being tough with me. I know that at age 15 I told you, daily, that you were "ruining my life," but trust me, I get it now. You always gave me just enough of what I wanted to make me happy, but made certain I appreciated the things I was given. You taught me how to figure things out for myself, be an independent woman, and never to expect (or want) hand-outs.
15. Thank you for setting an example, by being compassionate, incredibly thoughtful, hilarious, smart, talented, and strong, and for always encouraging me. From my first day in this world, you have encouraged me to think freely, encouraged me to take notice of the details in my surroundings, encourage me to learn and experiment, encouraged me to explore, and encouraged me to never settle for ordinary. Even when we annoy the living crap out of each other, it's impossible not to look into your eyes and see what a truly good person you are.
(And don't you dare use this against me the next time we get into an irrational argument over where we're going shopping).
best. mom. ever.