an interview with my mother

My mother is about 5'6" tall, has a luscious head of gray hair, better legs than mine (damn those genetics), is always well dressed, and, like me, can talk to anyone anytime. Which she does.
She is retired from her job as a well decorated (many stars for distinguished and fabulous service) at the Fancy Department Store and is presently finishing her term as The President of the apartment house run by our church for persons over 60 who are in good health.
I thought you might be interested in learning more about her and so I asked her a few questions.

Where did you grow up?
In Jamaica (Queens, NYC) in an apartment across the street from a graveyard and two churches and a synagogue.

Tell me about your sisters.
I have two. I was the middle child and the first born wasn't around much because she went away to college when I was, maybe 8, and she got married when I was 12.
I was the maid of honor but I couldn't sign the marriage certificate because I was too young. So someone else had to do it.
And then I had a baby sister, born on the day that World War 2 was declared. I was 6.

Don't you have a story about chewing gum, from when you were little?
During the war my mother bought me Fleer's Double Bubble gum at a black market news stand and it was seven cents instead of the normal price of a penny. So what I would do would be to chew it for a long time and then put it in a glass of water and save it for later.

What was your first job?

I worked in the library. I worked in the area where they transferred books from one library to another - and they kind of had to hide me because I was underage. I was about 14. But we had a friend with "political connections" who got me the job.

How old were you when you met dad?

Did you have any hobbies when your children were small?
(Laughs) I think I was too busy. I did paint by numbers! And I read a lot.

What is your favorite meal?
Hamburger. Well, cheeseburger. You know.

Do you like to cook?
I used to. It's boring now.

What size shoe do you wear?
A six and a half or a seven. Put 7. For two minutes once I was 7 1/2.

She has many more interesting stories, my mom. Her mother made all their clothes and I've heard several stories over the years about particular dresses and occasions. She's told me about visiting her older sister, in Paris, and sleeping in the bathtub and she is notorious for the pranks she pulled on her younger sister - like leaving her in Woolworths.
Of course I forgot to ask her about these things during our "interview" - we'll just say it was a long long week.
And, speaking of the long long week, it culminated with an anxiety riddled 4 hour drive, with my mom, to a hospital in the city that Youngest is visiting.
He was injured on the trip and had to be taken to the ER.
He is absolutely fine now but, after calling K, my mother was the very next call I made and I told her she was coming with me.
She did what she always has done - all our lives. She supported me and sang songs with the radio and talked and talked while we sped through torrential rain that night.
And when we got the call that he was okay and we turned around to go back home, she said all the right things.

I never write about Mother's Day because I don't enjoy it.
But this Mother's Day I'm feeling awfully blessed to have my mom whose shoe size may fluctuate, who chewed black market gum and who is always, without question, here for me.


Kathy Rogers said…
"For two minutes once I was 7 1/2."

This cracked me up.
Anonymous said…
You truly are blessed to have your mother. I miss mine dreadfully.
Btw, I vote everyday, and middle is slipping to sixth now. What about a Facebook campaign?
Badger said…
I heart your mom. And I'm so glad Youngest is okay. And I VOTED.
Sinda said…
Was so relieved youngest is well - what a gut-wrenching experience. Tell him to space those out more, ok?
Anonymous said…
Youngest, dear Youngest.
Please stop doing this.
You are playing with too many hearts here. Do you realize how agitated you get a bunch of loony women all over the world?
Thank you for your kind attention to this matter.
And mamma Bb, sei un tesoro!

We are not doing too great on the voting front.
Two more days ladies.
Carol said…
She sounds so interesting and loyal - two wonderful qualities. You ARE blessed.
Dani said…
Your mother and I have a lot in common. From the Dept. Store job (which honed my ability to talk to people from all walks of life), to the shoe sizes, to the LOVE of cheeseburgers. Oh... and cooking IS boring. Who says a generation gap is a big deal?! We're even the same height! She sounds like a fabulous woman who taught her daughter how to be an incredible mother. The apple fell awfully close.

I had chills and all sorts of little hairs sticking up all over me for the part of your post. You do that to me quite often. That's why I come back every day.

Do I really need to tell you that I vote every day? I'm sure you know.
Anonymous said…
Thanks for sharing Momma blackbird with us.

Glad to hear Youngest is okay.
islaygirl said…
happy mother's day. and so glad youngest is ok.

and i voted. AS I DO EVERY DAY.
Anonymous said…
Happy Mother's Day bb and mom of bb.

Going now to vote again.
Anonymous said…
Your mother sounds fascinating, which doesn't surprise me at all.

Glad Youngest is okay!
Anonymous said…
Whew! that youngest... health and happy mother's day to all of the blackbirds.

Angela said…
It sounds like, in many wonderful ways, you are following in your mother's footsteps--regardless of the size of those steps. Happy Mother's Day, Blackbird!
Mary said…
Need to go and vote but glad you broke your Mother's Day rule!
Heather said…
I loved this.

... well, not the part about Youngest. Glad he's ok.
Anonymous said…
Dear God,
Please bless all the Blackbirds.

Miz S said…
Your mother always sounds awesome.

Must it always be Youngest?

I'm so glad that he is okay, and I hope that your heart has stopped pounding like a jackhammer.
RW said…
Gosh - there is never a dull moment in the blackbird home!

Glad to hear that your youngest is OK. And your mum is so close.
Anonymous said…
Happy Post-Mother's Day. Your situation with Youngest hits home the realization that being a parent never really stops. I'm glad that she was there for you.
Anonymous said…
I'm glad to get to read about your mother. She sounds positively lovely and I adore how you write about her. Just the way YOU describe her says so much more.