Happy Mama’s Day

Get ready for your new earwig. My husband has nearly redeemed his musical tastes with this video. One of his FB friends posted it (thanks, dude) and he showed it to me, and it almost made me forget that he occasionally listens to Ke$sha on full blast.

Is that amazing or WHAT? These are two Icelandic musicians from Of Monsters and Men, and the singer’s name is Nanna Bryndis Hilmarsdottir. Nanna’s voice is haunting and childlike and makes that already solid MGMT song even better. Also, Icelandic is super complicated sounding. From my rudimentary understanding of the language, her name means she is the daughter of Hilmar, who is a blonde banana farmer. Which is weird because I did not know Iceland had many banana farms, but global warming? Probably.

Nanna’s sassy Amish bowler hat reminded me of a former musical obsession.
DebbieGibson

In junior high English class we had to write an essay about someone we admired and then present it to the class. I didn’t even have to think about it; OBVIOUSLY, I would write about Debbie Gibson. Because did you know she wrote her own songs, and performed live at all of her shows? This is particularly impressive, given the complexity of her lyrics (such as “Shake your love, I just can’t shake your love, shake your love, shake it!”), and the fact that she was a pretty crappy singer.

We kept our topics a secret from each other before our presentations, as if we were giving out highly competitive awards. So imagine how ridiculous I felt when I discovered that I was almost the only kid who did not write about my mom. Probably 90% of my classmates wrote about how great their moms were, a couple boys wrote about professional athletes, and I wrote about a teenage pop singer who wore neon jelly bracelets and oversized menswear while singing lame girly songs in mall food courts.

It wasn’t that I just didn’t write about admiring my mom that made me feel so awful – it was that the thought hadn’t even crossed my mind. I just knew that my classmates would go home and share their essays with their moms, who would weep with joy and lead more fulfilled lives knowing how much their children loved and admired them. And my mom would take one look at my essay and realize she was raising a borderline-obsessive nutjob. So I did not share my essay with her. I think the wall of Debbie Gibson posters and the Electric Youth perfume I bathed in daily gave her a pretty good idea of the depth of my feelings.

So now I think about Debbie Gibson when my kids don’t even seem to notice that I’m in the room, or when they don’t have any clue about the nine million things I do for them every day. Another mom told me once that you want your kids to take you for granted, to know that your love is there all the time, and to know you’re dependable and will be there when they need you, because otherwise they’ll be insecure and constantly jockey for your attention.

I get that now, and I think I learned that lesson from my mom. She had done such a good job of always being there that it freed me up to devote my admiration to superstars like Debbie Gibson. My mom’s love and support was something I wasn’t even consciously aware of — it was just constant and always there, and I could (and did) totally take it for granted. In fact, I bet if I had shown her my essay she would have been proud of me, or at least said she was. That’s what I tell myself to not feel like a complete ass, anyways.

So happy (early) Mother’s Day to my mom, who I admire for many reasons, but especially for letting me be my slightly weird self all the time and loving me in spite of it. Maybe even because of it.

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2 thoughts on “Happy Mama’s Day

  1. Wow….I loved Mama Esq.  Amazing how the lessons we never think of teaching are the ones that last the longest and are the most important. So important to lead by example. And besides…Debbie Gibson didn’t turn out too bad either.  Nice work!  Bravo…Love, your Mom

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