Happy Birthday, Mom!

Most years on her birthday, I list the reasons why my mom is cooler than your mom. While this is still true,

And you'll never convince me otherwise, so don't try. 

this year I'm going to tell you a story.

When I was about 7 or 8, my mom and flew to meet my dad somewhere. We had gotten upgraded to first class and I remember the glares of the businessmen (for it was all men) as we settled in. I remember being offended that these businessmen seemed to think I was going to act like a screaming baby, so I decided to show them how mature I was.

Instead of removing my Barbies from my tote bag, I decided to have a quiet conversation with my mother.

Anyone who has talked to me after a glass of wine should be able to imagine my 7 year old version of "quiet". 

There'd been something I'd been meaning to ask her anyway, because my mom answered - or tried to find the answer to - everything I asked her. In the days before the internet, this took a lot of effort.

I don't think it made me the intellectual giant she was exactly hoping for, but I am fabulous at Trivial Pursuit. 

In some commercial or magazine ad or comment in a book I was probably too young to be reading, I'd read the word "douche". I had no idea what one was and I couldn't let that stand. So, surrounded by scowling businessmen on a crowded plane, I began our conversation with,

"Mom, what's a douche?"

To my mom's immense credit, she answered me. . .albeit much more quietly than I think I'd ever heard her speak. I don't remember exactly what she said, but I do know she got to the gist very, very quickly. And then I think she gave me a new book that she'd probably been saving for when I was bored and whiny later on in the flight.

And I was more than happy to read that book, because learning about douches was not as much fun as when she'd explained what suffragettes were.

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