October 26, 2011 by Manny Wordsmith
In an odd occurrence, I find myself listening to Christmas music on my birthday. “Michael Buble” and “She & Him” to be exact.
My mom loved Christmas music. And this is probably why I’m listening to it now. There’s not a birthday that passes where I don’t think about her.
She used to put notes in my backpack on my birthday. I’d fumble through my sometimes makeshift knapsacks and find a finely folded piece of paper that would read, “Happy Birthday Sweetheart, I love you. Mom.” I always thought it was funny that she had to sign it, like someone else was running around trying to make me smile. Sometimes she would make cupcakes for my class and bring them in after lunch. Everyone would be dazzled by her long hair and height. She would usually have on some type of skirt with a colorful blouse, with her hair slightly curled and her lips shining from her patented redish-purple lipstick. She was a slightly above average in height, but that never stopped her from wearing heels, which she loved to do. She was a stay at home mom for most of my elementary school days, but when she came in with those cupcakes you wouldn’t have ever guessed. She could’ve been anything.
I wonder how I’ve changed since I was 16 and hope I’m close to what she wanted me to be. I know she always wanted me to be polite and standup for myself. I think I do both very well. She probably didn’t want me to be the big partier that I am now, but she’d probably understand if she met all the great friends I do the partying with. She’d want me to be married by now, with kids. I’m still working on that. I have seen the world, which I hope can make up for the fact I haven’t made any babies yet.
And during these travels of mine, I’ve taking her everywhere with me. No matter where I’ve been on my birthday, my thoughts of her have been the only thing that has kept things consistent.
I love you mom and I miss your notes. Your son.