Monday, May 23, 2011

Happy birthday, Mom


It’s the nicest word in the English language. 

When my son is hungry, tired or sad, “Mommy” is the first word uttered from his little lips. When my infant daughter gets to the point of no return, only I can pacify her. 

I love my job. I love being my family’s account manager. I am the nurturer - the one who soothes, feeds and cuddles. I make sure shoes still fit, puzzle pieces are in the right box and we have enough diapers before we leave home. 

And I learned from the best.

Today my mom celebrates her 60th birthday. Mrs. Caruso is 60. I think she’s been thinking a lot about this birthday and what it means.

Mom, you’ve got so much – a loving, devoted husband, three daughters who married well and four – almost five – adorable grandchildren.

And you are fabulous you.

So without further adieu, here are 60 things my sisters and I love about our mom in no particular order:

1.     She doesn’t or need to color her hair.
2.     She cries over a gift set of pots. And a Kitchenaid mixer. And a cake stand. And a serving tray. Oh, and the list goes on.
3.     She colors Easter eggs with me. (from Jack)
4.     She leaves urgent voicemails to call her immediately. When we call her back, she’s positioned at a kitchen store, wondering if we have a certain utensil or not.
5.     She’ll serve a minimum of three different desserts at the end of the meal.
6.     She is thoughtful.
7.     Don’t give her a glass of wine while she’s baking. She’ll forget the baking soda.
8.     She wears her faith on her sleeve and is not afraid to share it.
9.     She cares for our pets, even when we leave them for college.
10. She anthropomorphisizes anything, which has scarred my sisters and me for life. “Hey, lady, it’s starting to get hot in here,” she used to make the Thanksgiving turkey say to us from the oven.
11. She loves to bathe her grandbabies in the kitchen sink.
12. She’s worn three mother-of-the-bride dresses with grace.
13. Her family comes first.
14. She never says no to spending time to her family - from batting cages to manicures.
15. She read us books every night at bedtime.
16. She is kind.
17. She channels her inner “country girl” when trapping spiders.
18. No one ever turns down a dinner invitation to her table.
19. She mastered Zabar’s black and white cookies for the wedding cookie table.
20. Nothing grosses her out.
21. She made dinner every night for our family when we were kids.
22. She can neatly fold a fitted bed sheet.
23. She thinks you have to talk louder when using a cell phone.
24. She taught us the importance of a handwritten thank-you note.
25. She makes her own pie crust.
26. She can let loose during Moms’ weekend at college.
27. She is a great shopping partner.
28. She sews buttons on and fixes hemlines.
29. Her Italian Peasant soup soothes the soul.
30. She’s there in emergencies.
31. She was packing our lunches when we were in high school.
32. She made our Halloween costumes and homemade Play-doh.
33. She loves us for who we are.
34. Birthday cakes are always homemade.
35. Her grandchildren love her.
36. She was recycling and reusing before it was cool.
37. She has volunteered her time for many worthy organizations.
38. She taught us how to say our bedtime prayers.
39. She could do a cartwheel when we were kids.
40. She makes homemade curtains and shower curtains.
41. She epitomizes the Golden Rule.
42. If you tell her your favorite pie, she’ll most likely make you one.
43. “Cutting back” on Christmas baking means making only five different types of cookies (no less than three dozen each).
44. One glass of wine makes her “fingers tingle” but her drink of choice is a Long Island Iced Tea.
45. She has always supported Dad’s career advancements. Even when that meant moving four times in two years with three small children.
46. She makes extra food at holidays so there are enough leftovers for everyone to take home.
47.  Her new house is built around her fabulous new kitchen.
48. She is patient.
49. She sends care packages.
50. She bakes with me. (from Jack)
51. She uses her library card.
52. She is generous.
53. She reminds you to drink water.
54. You’ll never cry alone in her presence.
55. She is well respected by her co-workers.
56. She gardens to be close to God and her dad, who has passed.
57. She lent Dad her class notes when he transferred into her freshman geography class, and the rest is history.
58. She starts the wave at middle school softball games.
59. She plays the piano and loves to sing with her children and grandchildren.
60. She is loving.

Do you love my mom? I bet you do! Please add a comment!  To leave a comment, hit “comments” at the bottom of this post. Under “Post a Comment,” type your note in the text box. From the pull-down menu of “Comment as” choose “Name/URL.”  Use any name you’d like to identify yourself. No URL is necessary. Hit “Continue.” Hit “Post Comment.” Voila! C’mon, spread the love!


  1. Of course I love your mom! Aunt Carol is at the center of some of my very best memories.

    Among other things, she trusted me to babysit her three beautiful daughters way before there was ever a thought about husbands and babies of their own, even when I wasn't so great at the diaper thing (sorry, Laura).

    She also let me, at five years old, parade around in her wedding veil the weekend of her wedding, when most brides would be horrified even by the prospect.

    Her cookie recipes are some of the first that started my recipe collection, on little cards in her handwriting that say "From Carol's Kitchen".

    I love how she can be serious and yet will cut loose and be silly when the moment calls for it. A video of "Hang On Sloopy" from the beach comes to mind!

    And I love how I've never been in her presence without feeling loved.

    So happy birthday, Aunt Carol! I hope you have a wonderful day!

  2. And for a head start on next year:
    61. an open door and an open phone line for the neighbor girl who was always traipsing through her backyard. Even though we're all adults now, she will always be Mrs. Caruso!

  3. Happy birthday, Mrs. Caruso!!! No one has your gift of hospitality! You know how to make a guest feel like part of the family. Your door was always open to us as kids and through young adulthood, and even now as we all have children of our own. You are a beautiful person!

  4. Happy birthday, Mrs. Caruso! I have learned so much from you through your daughters - what a great legacy! - Emily

  5. I love your mom and I've never even met her! What a lovely tribute to an amazing woman. - Jennifer