Ya-ya’s birthday is today and in grand Thank You Everything tradition, here is my ode to her.
While I was growing up, she was more like an older sister, who was more hip and more popular. To give you an idea, I was visiting a very old friend and when it came to describing my mom, he told his wife: “She’s the person that all the girls whated to go shopping with.” I’m not sure if this was true in high school, but it felt like it. And as older sisters do, she did embarrass me. The most memorable red-cheek moment was on my tenth birthday. She displayed a nude baby picture of me lying on a sheep skin rug as part of a photo montage of me. I was mortified. She tells this story to this day. Never once have I felt like an only child because of this.
I like to think that I got my work ethic from her. She has always worked hard and has made sure that I knew the importance of doing things for myself. I started working at ten and with her help started my own company. Early on she instilled a business sense in me that I use to this day.
She taught me to suck it up. Throughout life curve balls will come at you and sometimes you will get hit. But if you keep your head down and keep plowing away, eventually it will get better. Yes, there are times in my life when I needed her to commiserate with me and she didn’t and it irritated me. But now that I am a mom this lesson has been invaluable because there are days that I just need to deal.
I love the way that she thinks an article I write might have been influenced by her. I laugh each time she brings up the article I wrote about how mothers influence their child’s body image. It’s cute. And it is one of the few things I can tease her about.
She sends birthday cards to my friends. I didn’t get this gene. I don’t send cards unless Plaxo reminds me and links me to the e-card site. She is so thoughtful.
She is a talented artist who needs to make time to hone her skill. When I was a kid, I found her journal of a trip she took to New York City when she was 16. It was filled with beautiful sketches of the Empire State Building, Washington Square and other things. Now that I am older and realize what a person with her talent can do, I wonder what she would be doing if she decided to go to art school.
Finally, (because I don’t want to bore you and mother’s day is only five months away) the gusto in which she loves Baby A is amazing and beautiful. She is more patient and nurturing with both of us than I remember most of my adult life. Sometimes I think that when I gave birth to Baby A, my big sister figure became my mom. And I like it this way.
Happy Birthday, Ya-Ya. (There are way more things that I am grateful for but I have an audience.)
P.S. This is your e-card this year.