Today is my mom's birthday. As I sit outside listening to the crickets and watching the sun set, I have to think that I got pretty lucky in the mom department. Sure, we have our moments when we bicker, but we have way more where we laugh. Frankly, I can't think of anyone I know who has as much fun with her mother as I do with mine. We even have a secret handshake involving rude gestures. Can you say that about your mom? I thought not! We have always been close, but as I've grown up, she really has become my best friend. I can't think of anyone I even come close to trusting as much as I do her.
So, in honor of her birthday, we have spent the weekend together doing whatever she wanted to do. Whatever she wanted to do included, but was not limited to attending/helping with a shower for some of the women affected by last month's ICE raids (more about that later!), watching Hitchcock movies (Suspicion, Mr. & Mrs. Smith), visiting Saturday market, strolling around NW Portland, going shopping, going to the movies, and enjoying a lovely homemade birthday dinner together.
Because she didn't want anyone to make a big deal of it, we kept it quiet this year. Beyond a few old friends who already had it on their calendars, almost no one even knew it was her birthday. We still made a really nice weekend of it. Her special birthday dinner featured roast duck with an apple and rum-raisin dressing, red cabbage, new potatoes, and a wine sauce. It is the first time we ever made duck at home (even though she grew up eating it), but it came out really well. The only thing I would changed is the gravy, which tasted a little too strongly of wine for my taste. I'm not sure if it was the amount of wine the recipe called for or just the type of wine we ended up using, but next time we'll have to tweak that element. Anyway, it wasn't at all bad, just a little too wine prominent and the rest was so good that a little too much wine is easily overlooked.
And now in the time I've been writing this it has gotten dark. The neighbors have come by to give my mom a birthday present (despite all her hiding, they felt the need to make a big deal of it after all). So, I had better go, but I go feeling pretty fortunate for the family I have and for the great friends we have as well. They are a far cry from our old neighbors. It's good to be me and it's good to think that maybe just a fraction of the awesomeness that runs through my mom's veins might have made it into mine too. She is a lot like her mom was, so maybe a little of it was passed on to me as well. She's pretty incredible and I am so lucky to have her.