Happy Birthday, Mom!
Today my mom turns 88! Double infinity! My first memories of mom are of her getting down on the carpet or the grass and PLAYING, like really playing, with us kids. She would let us dictate which magical character she had to pretend to be, and she’d be all in. Boredom was not allowed in our home. She’d simply come up with stuff for us to do: homemade play-dough, finger-painting with Ivory Snow soap flakes, EZ Bake cakes marbleized with food color and toothpicks. Her creativity is boundless. She would never say so, but she is a skilled self-taught artist who can draw just anything if she tries, and has always practiced beautiful calligraphy lettering. These days her body doesn’t allow her to go go go, but she does what she can. She practices songs on her piano even though her hands don’t quite obey anymore. She still remembers and tries to teach me Finnish words from when she and my dad and the first sprouts of their children lived there, over 50 years ago. She still calls me her “kuopus,” (Finnish for the baby of the family). I love you, äiti, and I’l always be your kuopus.