So, today is my mom’s birthday. My sister’s was a couple of weeks ago, and typically we celebrate them at the same time. The celebrations usually go something like this:
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And then this:
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Hopefully, they’ll both be able to enjoy similar moments at some point today.
I think I get a good portion of my adventurous side from Mom. She loves trying new things and isn’t afraid to “look the fool” to experience something new. Unfortunately for both of us, this adventurous streak often leads to… well let’s just say mishaps. In fact, there has been more than one occasion where I have been branded as a “troublemaker” because of it. I’m sure the same has been true for Mom.
One such “mishap” occurred a few Christmases ago at my sister’s house. All the kids were taking naps, which signals, as anyone with children can attest, the arrival of toy assembly time. That year one of the toys the kids got was a ridable train roller coaster thing:
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There were only about 6 different components, but, being a kid’s toy, it of course took all 5 adults to put the damn thing together. Once assembled, Dad, Sis, and Bro-in-Law retreated upstairs and Mom and I stayed behind to admire the train.
Alas, the temptation proved too great.
We decided we needed to test it out. Justification came in the form of a “safety check” (we can’t let the kids do anything dangerous, after all), and we determined a thorough exploration of Newton’s laws of gravity and motion was in order.
I wanted to go first, but Mom argued I was too big and would collapse the whole thing so she elected herself as the official Toy Train Roller Coaster Thing Guinea Pig of Christmas:
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The collision was loud and violent.
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Gravity won, as it usually does, and Mom crashed hard into my Bro-in-Law’s workbench. Hearing the crash and Mom’s subsequent scream, the others raced back downstairs to find Mom folded over the front of the train holding her head:
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Hearing the peals coming from Mom, my sister was horrified, certain that Christmas was ruined and a trip to the emergency room was inevitable. I was, true to form, laughing hysterically, which didn’t help matters much.
Slowly, Mom turned around, and we got a good look at her face:
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I’ve always found it interesting how screams of joy can sound so much like a scream of pain. This, of course, changed the mood in the basement dramatically. But what really sent everyone into the land of Gigglefits was Mom’s exclamation that she needed to test it one more time to be sure it was safe.
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So happy birthday, Mom. Thanks so much for everything you do for the family. Without your adventurous troublemaking, we’d have all fallen apart decades ago.