One afternoon, when my brother and I were about 5 and 8, respectively, our mother picked us up from school in the family Volvo. She then drove down the road about five hundred feet before announcing that she wasn’t our mother, but rather an alien, who had come to kidnap us.
Obviously, a debate about this ensued, with my brother and me insisting that she was, in fact, our mother, and her insisting, no, in fact, she was an alien, but that the other aliens had just done a remarkably good job in making her look precisely like our mother. The debate raged for nearly the entire ride home, with my mother holding out just long enough for my brother and I to start developing serious doubts.
To this day, I’m not entirely sure what possessed her to do that, but if she were to do it again, I also wouldn’t be terrribly surprised. Because, while she’s smart and articulate and logical and organized and successful, my mother also jumps on beds and pushes people into swimming pools without warning.
Or, at least, without much warning; by now, my brother and I have both learned to recognize that certain gleam in her eyes which serves as the signal for both of us to run for our lives.
Apparently, my mother inherited this troublemaking streak from her own mother, who once, while measuring her for a skirt she was shortening, poked my mom in the posterior with a pin, “just to see what would happen.”
So, on this Mother’s Day, to any readers who have been following along with self-aggrandizement and wondering what the hell is wrong with me, I say: go ask my mom. Much as she’d deny it, her genes clearly account for at least half of the whack-job traits I possess today.
Happy Mothers Day to moms everywhere, but especially to my own, because, frankly, she’s better than yours.