For MaryAnn, My Mom

My friends, today I am 30 and I am embracing it with both hands, pulling it in close, and wearing it like crushed velvet.

But that’s not what this post is about.

Today’s post is for my beautiful Mom, MaryAnn.  She was the first person to hold me 30 years ago today, and is the person most likely to be holding my hand tomorrow.

mom and me aug 81

My mom has three daughters.  Courtney was born in 1980, me in 1981, and Tara in January of 1983.  Just pause for a moment to imagine the madness of three little girls that close in age, then think about how much harder it got for her two years later when she found herself going through a divorce and raising us mostly on her own.  She was twenty-nine years old.

I wouldn’t be smiling either if I was holding one kid, had another pulling on my hair, and yet a third (me) doing something weird behind my head.

mom and 3 girls

But she did smile a lot.

Despite how overwhelming and difficult that time must have been for her, Mom never put anything before her girls, and focused on rebuilding a life for our family.  She called us “cherubs” and piled on the affection, which we reciprocated.  My aunt likes to tell us, “Your poor mother couldn’t even go to the bathroom without you kids banging on the door because she wasn’t holding you!”  To this day we are still an affectionate bunch.

Before you roll your eyes, please know it wasn’t always kittens and cupcakes.  My teen years with my mom were more than typical.  We fought a lot.  I told her she didn’t understand me, and she told me I had a lot to learn.  Doors slammed, punishments were dealt, but then I moved out of the house for college and the pressure lifted.

I started to look forward to our phone calls, and on visits home we would plan special outings together.  My mom and I both get excited about visiting historical sites, shopping for consignment housewares, visiting bakeries, and stalking library book sales.  Our relationship began to grow in a new direction.

aimee and mom

In the years since then my mother has become something entirely different to me than just my parent.  She is a wonderfully unique person, and someone who I love and admire beyond compare.  I look to her as an example for how to live my life with honesty, kindness, and a slightly-warped sense of humor.  I also look to her for company on my walks home from work, as my top taste-tester, and source of secondhand cookbooks.  Lots and lots of cookbooks that I don’t have room for, but cannot refuse.

Today I turned 30, and I wouldn’t be here without her.  I can’t say with any certainty that I know where the near future will take me, but I do know my mom will be there, encouraging me and sharing my enthusiasm.

Thanks for giving birth to me, Mom, and for everything else you have given me since.  I love you!

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45 Comments on “For MaryAnn, My Mom”

  1. mgw
    August 11, 2011 at 7:11 am #

    Aimee, I am stunned….love you so, so, so much. Happy 30th. Birthday Cherub! xoxox

  2. Judy Kirschner
    August 11, 2011 at 8:06 am #

    Happy Birthday Aimee! What a beautiful tribute to your wonderful mom. I really enjoy reading your blog, and even subscribed to Yankee Magazine just to read your column! Best Wishes always.

  3. Tara
    August 11, 2011 at 9:07 am #

    Aimee, This is beautiful! I am tearing up reading it! Enjoy your birthday!

  4. gblue
    August 11, 2011 at 9:08 am #

    Oh, Aimee! *Tears* You’re such a great person, daughter, co-worker, friend, sister, author, baker, photographer, citizen of the world. All of the very best of your mom!!!! In honoring her, you honor not only yourself, but your sisters. How lucky are we to have an opportunity to know your mom through you? To you and your mom – nice job! :) Enjoy your birthday.

  5. Carla
    August 11, 2011 at 9:17 am #

    I also am tearing. As a Mother of four, I have to say there is nothing as wonderful as having a strong loving bond with your children. Then to have one of your children expound in such a positive way how much they love you and how wonderful and special you are…… it’s very touching. It’s a gift to your Mother.

  6. August 11, 2011 at 9:24 am #

    What a beautiful post dedicated to your Momma, I hope you both enjoy celebrating this special day! Here’s to 30!!

  7. August 11, 2011 at 9:51 am #

    Happy birthday, Aimee! I hoe you have a delicious day.

  8. August 11, 2011 at 9:52 am #

    Oops, I meant “hope”!

  9. August 11, 2011 at 10:03 am #

    Really lovely post Aimee! I can definitely identify with the progression of your relationship with your mom. Happy birthday!

  10. Patricia Davis
    August 11, 2011 at 11:22 am #

    Thank you for the MOM letter. I am 75 and Mom is no longer here bu
    she put me on the right path and I will always be grateful. My daughter
    is my best friend but we have our own personalities and find the other
    one uniquely funny. What will the girls of today do without the up
    close and personal bond we have had!

  11. August 11, 2011 at 11:45 am #

    AWwwww Aimee -this is beyond touching! I loved reading every word of this, and viewing every photo! Happy birthday to you- and yay for your mom!

  12. Anonymous
    August 11, 2011 at 11:46 am #

    Aimee, this is such a nice tribute to your mom. So sweet. I can only hope that I leave an impression on my children the way your mother has on you! Much love on your 30th!!!!
    Jenn and the Cummings Clan!!!

  13. Anonymous
    August 11, 2011 at 1:05 pm #

    MaryAnn, You have done such a wonderful job with your girls and I do so remember your “warped ” sense of humer. Lovely words Aimee and I hope you have a wonderful 30th birthday.
    Love,
    Uncle Bobby

  14. August 11, 2011 at 1:10 pm #

    What a sweet post!! Happy Birthday. :)

  15. August 11, 2011 at 2:04 pm #

    What a lovely post! Your mom must be very touched.

  16. Fatima
    August 11, 2011 at 3:12 pm #

    Happy Birthday, Aimee!! Thanks for sharing this lovely post with us! :)

  17. Janis Carter
    August 11, 2011 at 4:19 pm #

    Aimee – you truly are a good daughter and she was a great mom. I know you girls cherish her love and affection because of what she did for you all. I love her because she is a good friend and couldn’t ask for anyone better than my friend Mare. Thank you for sharing. Janis Carter

  18. August 11, 2011 at 4:44 pm #

    Hey there! Love the tribute to your mom… it’s such a great way to ring in your 30th. Hope you had a wonderful birthday!

  19. Anonymous
    August 11, 2011 at 4:58 pm #

    Happy 30th Aimee……it’s not bad turning 30. ;)
    So happy to know (and love) your very special mom….she never fails to make me laugh….and she’s always there for me too!
    Enjoy your special day!
    Love,
    Joyce

  20. courtney
    August 11, 2011 at 5:05 pm #

    i love, love, love this, aim! i am so grateful for you and mom and tara!! xoxoxo

  21. maureen
    August 11, 2011 at 6:01 pm #

    Aimee, this post is wonderful. And so like you to celebrate your birthday by celebrating the woman who made it possible. Your giving nature is part of what makes you so special. I don’t think any mother or daughter could have read this post with dry eyes. May you have many years of sharing life with your lovely mom.

  22. August 11, 2011 at 7:36 pm #

    Beautiful post! A very happy 30th birthday to you!

  23. Anonymous
    August 11, 2011 at 8:23 pm #

    The most beautiful post I thinkI’ve ever read. Congratulations to both of you.

  24. Jaime
    August 11, 2011 at 9:57 pm #

    Beautiful! Here’s to many more milestones celebrating your very special bond! Happy birthday Aim- much love to you and your momma!

  25. August 11, 2011 at 10:18 pm #

    What a touching post Aimee! It brought tears to my eyes. Happy happy birthday. Love the new mugshot btw :)

  26. diane seavey
    August 11, 2011 at 11:15 pm #

    aimee what a wonderful tribute it only goes to show how much love your mom has for you girls and it shows thru you all anyone that knows you and your mom are truly loved and blessed and i am glad to have you all in my life love you all soooooo much

  27. August 12, 2011 at 8:12 am #

    Happy birthday! What a touching tribute to your mom, she sounds like an amazing person. Isn’t it funny how your relationship with your parents seems to grow once you leave the nest? My bf NEVER got along with his mom, then he moved out, went to college, and they are bff’s, it’s funny to remember how it was a mere decade ago.

  28. August 12, 2011 at 10:04 am #

    Touching post, beautifully written. Happy Birthday!

  29. August 12, 2011 at 11:01 am #

    This is so sweet. Your mom seems like both a sweetheart and a strong lady. You look so alike!

    and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

  30. August 12, 2011 at 1:03 pm #

    What an awesome tribute! A very sweet story both in content and form. Happy Birthday!

  31. August 12, 2011 at 1:21 pm #

    such a sweet post! happy 30th :)

  32. August 13, 2011 at 2:25 am #

    Happy birthday, Aimee! What a lovely post!

  33. August 13, 2011 at 3:47 am #

    That was really really sweet!

  34. August 13, 2011 at 8:24 pm #

    Happy birthday! What a sweet, sweet tribute to your mom. Thanks for sharing your memories and the cute pics!

  35. August 15, 2011 at 8:37 am #

    Happy Birthday Aimee! This is such a beautiful post about your mom, thank you for sharing.

  36. August 19, 2011 at 8:49 am #

    What a beautiful and heartfelt post! Your mom sounds like an amazing woman :)

  37. Anonymous
    August 21, 2011 at 10:00 pm #

    Aimee Happy Belated Birthday! Just came back from being away so sorry I missed your big day! I am sitting here reading this and just crying away because your mom is a beautiful person inside and out. But to have her daughters know that and appreciate it is so rewarding. I use to fight with my mom about the same things as you and as I got older I realized how wrong I was and how right she was. She has been gone for almost 8 years and I miss her everyday so I am glad you 3 girls can cherish her because she deserves it!
    Love
    Neha

  38. September 8, 2011 at 6:35 pm #

    What a wonderful tribute to your mom!!!! Happy Belated Birthday!

  39. Patricia Wheeler
    October 17, 2011 at 5:46 am #

    Aimee, I ran into your blog through a post your mom made in a group on Facebook. I love your blog, I love to cook, and I had to order the Yankee Magazine cookbook with the Anadama bread recipe in it from Amazon.
    What a lovely tribute to your mom, tell her Patty Wheeler says hi!

    • October 18, 2011 at 6:48 pm #

      Hi Patty! She says hello back! :)
      So glad you liked the post – I know you will love the Yankee cookbook. Yankee knows its New England recipes! Thanks for commenting!

  40. January 25, 2012 at 6:00 pm #

    Hi there, I just clicked over to your blog from freshly pressed simply because I thought your blog name is so cute and perfect! (“why didn’t I think of that one”) =) Then clicked to this post as it was the first one under ‘Popular’… Anyway, love your blog, and wow the (happy) tears must have been rollin’ down your moms cheeks when she read this! How sweet, thanks for sharing :)

  41. January 25, 2012 at 9:41 pm #

    Hi Aimee, I just happened to click on your blog from the freshly pressed when I saw your delish citrus basil butter cookies that I can’t wait to bake now! This post is absolutely one of the most sincerest and beautiful dedications to a parent that I have read in a long time. I am tearing up as I write this! Great blog, great recipes and great feeling after reading this!!! Thank You!! :)

  42. January 25, 2012 at 9:42 pm #

    Oh, Happy Belated Birthday!!! :/

  43. Anonymous
    July 2, 2012 at 8:28 am #

    To Aimee and Maryann,
    I just re-read this post, and enjoyed being moved by it just as much as the first time. Being both a single mom, and a daughter of a woman of great strength and dignity, it resonates with me on so many levels. I am enjoying following your blog, and I wish you every success and happiness. (Can’t wait to read what you’ll write on your 40th. ;) Patty Wheeler

    • July 2, 2012 at 3:25 pm #

      Patty, thank you so much for your comment. My birthday post to my mom last year is still my favorite, and it makes me so happy to know that others can relate to how I feel (whether it’s as a mother, daughter, or both) and share in my appreciation! :)

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