Nanci is my mom. I am fairly certain there was some sort of Little House on the Prairie connection somewhere that made my sister and I start calling her Ma so many years ago (my brother didn’t really have a say in the matter). Many of my old friends call her Ma from enduring her mothering during her visits to college and to Seattle.
She will mother anyone and everyone. You will not escape. The mothering is the full-meal-deal too. You don’t just walk away with the hugs and love. You will get life lessons, laundry lessons, cooking lessons, cleaning lessons, and er, motherly opinions. If she stays at your house for an extended visit, she may clean it. She probably will give you a list of what was cleaned. As I have said to multiple roommates and current partner… “just lean into it: the house will be cleaner, she will get stains out of clothes that you had given up for dead, and dinner will be good.”
My mom can belt it out when it comes to singing. While today I can look back and laugh at her Tina Turner impressions – skirt hiked up, grasping a pretend microphone, giving a full-throated “What’s Love Got to Do With It?” – then, I sat mortified in front of my junior high friends. Funny thing… ask her today and she’ll oblige you with as much gusto as she mustered 35 years ago.
As a kid who didn’t always fit-in growing up, my mom would fill in when needed. I remember one camping trip in particular. The kids in the campground (about 30 of them) decided to have a “talent” show – really more a singing / dancing show. No one would team up with me. So, Nanci volunteered and we performed Hot Stuff by Donna Summer – in my eight year-old mind, the choreography was top notch (even then I knew to let her carry the tune).
We have an annual Summer Party (sadly on hold until 2022… fingers crossed). My mom plans her summer visit around the party date and has her own guest list. Nanci can work a room like a skilled politician and the party is no different. She is the belle of the backyard chatting with every guest, shooting tequila with our catering cooks, and dancing with the neighbors. It is delightful to watch her promenade through the crowd.
I have very much enjoyed my adult years with mom. She has embraced Lendy as part of the family. My folks lived in Seattle for an entire summer and the four of us were surprisingly best friends during that stay. We have traveled together over the years always sightseeing and laughing. Once we circled a walled city in Italy at least 3 times cursing the wall the entire time. To this day, we do not say available – we say ah-vah-lah-ble. We must have made that poor woman repeat that word about 8 times before we got it.