Google commercial: “graduation”
I’m not going to lie.
This made me think of my mother and made me tear up.
And since I won’t be home to make a post for mother’s day, I want to repost two posts I’ve written about my mom in the past.
The earliest memory I have of my mother were our trips to Kmart, riding along the shopping cart as she picked out $5.00 blouses and pants. I remember my brothers and I darting for the toy section where we grabbed the latest Transformers and WWF action figures and presented them to my mom in hopes of her approval.
She would toss them in the cart, turn it around and put back the clothes she picked out for herself.
With my first five adult paychecks as a freelance illustrator, I bought my mother a mesh silver bracelet from Tiffany’s for Mother’s Day. When I gave it to her, she opened the box, gave me a kiss on the cheek and put it away. I’ve never seen her wear it.
A few years later, I bought her a Marc Jacobs handbag for Christmas, in which she immediately turned around and gave it to her friend the next day.
Whenever I call my mother, the first things she asks me is if I have eaten yet and if I’m happy in New York.
I flew back to California last week for my childhood friend’s wedding, where I told my mother we (at Robert Geller) are finalists for the CFDA Vogue Fashion Fund. She told me that was great news and smiled, as if I were 10 and just showed her something I drew with a marker. She proceeded to ask my why I was so thin and if I was hungry.
It’s taken me 27 years to realize that my mother’s happiness is directly related to my own happiness. And if my stomach is full.
ON WHAT I LEARNED FROM MY FATHER
My father was a drug addict from as far as I can remember. I watched him deteriorate throughout the near three decades of my life, to the point where he was a normal, functioning person while high, and a twitching addict when sober.
My mother was the breadmaker, taking care of eight children essentially on her own. She was up by seven, home by five to make us dinner and often worked weekends. Never a complaint.
My father was never abusive, and while he never treated us or my mother the best, I never considered him a horrible father.
It’s hard to imagine how differently I would have turned out if my father embodied the sitcom dad archetype.
My father would never win a Father of the Year award. He wouldn’t even be runner up, nor an honorable mention. But I understood from early on, it was my mother that taught me how to really be a man. And my father what could become of me if I decided otherwise.