I don’t know if you’ve heard, but our neighbours to the west are having a big election today. I’m not super informed because, well, politics (ew!), but to me it sounds a bit like a gathering of the Garden Club. All this talk, you know, about tea parties and wild roses.

So that’s the big news in Canada today. An election in Alberta. But my big news is that today is my mom’s seventieth birthday. And guess how she is celebrating? She’s working the election polls in her community.

It’s been a little retirement job for her and my dad. Working the elections. They’ve done a couple of federal ones, and now this one. On her seventieth birthday. My guess is she stayed up late last night making Blonde Brownies to take to work for all the other election poll staff to enjoy throughout the day. Actually, I think her brownies are the reason they keep hiring her.

So, happy birthday, Mom!

I was reflecting, the other day, on moms. On being one and on having one. Truth is, my mom and I clashed a little bit a lot when I was growing up. I was not a fun teenager to have around the house. Oh my goodness, I knew how to throw a good sulk.

But a mom is a mom, and mine weathered my stormy years with me. And by the time I’d started my own brood, she was the smartest, kindest, nicest person ever. Funny.

A while ago, I had to call my parents with some tough news. It was my mom who answered the phone, and after the chit-chat about the kids and whatnot, I blurted out my story. And immediately started to cry.

I’ve shared my heart with many other people since, but it was only when I told my mom that I cried through it. Because when I’m talking to her, I’m the little girl again, coming with my hurt finger or scraped knee. Or I’m the lonely, homesick girl living half a world away, or the young woman with her first broken heart.

That’s a mom, I guess. The person most tangled up in childhood memories. The person who, even for the grown-up children, still bandages the hurts and dries the tears.

And bakes the brownies.