Sunday, 3 April 2011

Thanks Mom, for all the cannons

I surprised my mother yesterday by showing up at her retirement party in Hometown.

 In recognition of her awesomeness, I decided to say a few words.  But rather than talking about how great she is (because everyone is already aware of that), I instead reflected on my own experiences throughout my mom's career. 

Ya know, given that the world does, in fact, revolve around me

My early years with a single working mother were really fun.  Mom worked at the ultimate local historic attraction.  An old Fort hovering over the city, protecting us from all those "invasive Yankees".  (Don't blame me - I didn't build it.)

It was so cool hanging out at the Fort when I was a kid.  I got to play in Mom's office - complete with limestone walls and cannon-hole window (minus the cannon).  I got to wear the double-XL "event staff" t-shirts at concerts.  And I got to buy rock candy at the parade square, and then eat it sitting perched atop the Fort wall. 

I even remember sitting near the drawbridge watching the Punch and Judy puppet show all by myself.  Not another kid in sight.  It was like I was the Fort Princess, with my own personal Fort Jesters. 

It was such an influential time, that when it came to planning my wedding photo shots, I insisted on taking one with a cannon. 

You don't have to say it.  We know what this looks like.  Don't be disgusting. 

After working at the Fort Mom had other jobs too.  What I remember best was being shuffled around the meet everyone.  And as we passed from one office to another she'd say "Hey, this is my kid", and her smile was contagious

And then, for a short time, we worked in the same building.  We got to drive in together, go home together, and eat lunch on her front porch together (delaying our return and eating popsicles - banana and chocolate, so we could trade halves). 

Once I even gave her a taste of her own damn medicine.  I channeled my inner-Ashton, and punked her ass.  It was her birthday.  So we filled a dozen garbage bags with balloons, tip-toed around the outside walls of her cubical, and proceeded to dump them over the side.  First one, then a few more, then a waterfall of balloons piling up around her feet.  

All I've ever heard from Mom about her job was how much she loved it.  Not every day.  But she she appreciated and admired her colleagues and really took pride in her work. 

And now, now that she's leaving this working life (wow, I'm bitter) I don't know what to think.  I don't know what to make of her without this. 

But I'm sure she'll find new and exciting things to be proud of and engaged in.  (I just hope she doesn't start thinking that her four stupid dogs need yet another K9 friend.) 

Congratulations Mom.  Love you. 



  1. Love the cake, congrats to your ma!!

  2. Yes, you can't beat solid chocolate high heals. YUM.

  3. LOL. Love the balloon story! :) And the cannon photo. Bet that one's your hubby's favorite! ;)

  4. No doubt. He probably circulates it to anyone who ever doubts his masculinity. He looks very much "in charge" of that photo, doesn't he?

  5. My mom loses her job next week. So, it sucks that yer Ma is leaving for retirement (you know, 'cause you can't, but she can), but at least she got to ride it all the way out.

    I love the balloon story.

    And I totally pictured you looking like Rosanna Rosanna Danna... not that hot young thang in the wedding dress!!

    I feel like I know you so much more now with this, and the Hip, etc...


  6. Oh, I'm sorry about your Mom's job. My Mom certainly has been lucky. Wasn't always easy though - she was laid-off a few times in her career, but she always found a way to bounce back.

    Btw, we got married fairly recently, so if you need any tips, let me know! Tip #1: Avoid cannon photos.


  7. Loved this. Sounds like you really love your mom. I actually didn't notice the whole cannon thing in the photo until I read the caption. How oblivious am I??

  8. Thanks :) I sure do.
    Yeah, you should get your head into the gutter with the rest of us.