As a StoryTerrace writer, Annie interviews customers and turns their life stories into books. Get to know her better by reading her autobiographical anecdote below
My mother made life magical when I was a child, especially celebrations. Birthday parties had piñatas, games, and fancy decorated cakes she’d made. Holidays were filled with family visits and her creations, including delicate eggs for Easter and hand-knit stockings for Christmas.
But my dad was talented, too, and people said I took after him. He was an art teacher who was funny and sang quirky songs—like I did. As I got older, I believed those people must be right.
By my teen years, I no longer saw Mom as magical. She worked full-time, and life at home seemed dull. Even birthdays were just sit-down dinners—we were too old for games. Then Dad wanted to move south to escape shoveling snow and the fuss of holidays. The fuss of holidays! The one last connection to my magical childhood was just an irritation to him.
Soon after that, my parents split up. I was furious with my father for leaving my mother and moving out of state. Oddly, I was mad at Mom, too—for being less-than-perfect.
With time, my anger toward my father cooled. And I was thrilled that my mother had married my wonderful stepdad and was happy again. But still no magic.
Then one day, I visited my friend Linda, whose mother had grown up with my mom. Linda was arranging her mom’s old photos in a scrapbook. I paged through and noticed a picture of teenagers shooting pool . . . with ME! But it couldn’t be me in a 1950s photo. Was it really my mother? The quiet one who made sure others had fun at parties? But the girl in the picture was totally me. She was zany, mugging for the camera. This girl, who looked just like me, was having fun! I’d always thought my fun side came from my dad. Linda laughed at my expression. “Yeah, I thought that was you in the picture too. You and your mom are so alike.”
The magic was back. We talked about the gifts our mothers passed to us. Besides Mom’s zany, fun side, I also inherited her creativity, love of family, baking skills, and concern for anyone remotely part of her life. At least I hope I’m like her in those ways. I enjoy a party, and I’ll bake something tasty if you invite me.
Don’t thank me, though; thank my mom.