Partly inspired by various people's eloquent tributes to their mothers yesterday, and partly by elorie
's post about the origins of Mother's Day
, and our consequent discussion of how Hallmark would react, this started forming in my head and wouldn't stop. It's partly tongue-in-cheek and partly not, but it just somehow needed to be said.
Thank you for taking me to anti-Vietnam-war marches in my baby stroller when I just a wee child. And to the occupation of the ROTC building at dad's university, where we got to meet that radical Catholic priest who'd had to go underground.
Thank you for resisting the temptation to name me Sunshine, Rainbow, Galadriel, Moon Unit or God, and settling instead for something that was only mildly unusual. While I still have to constantly spell my name for people, at least they don't giggle.
Thank you for being critical of Marxism and teaching me that today's revolutionaries could be tomorrow's dictators.
Thank you for being an avid consumer of many and varied spiritual traditions, and sharing them with me, so that I could understand concepts like karma, reincarnation and vision quests while my age was still a single digit.
Thank you for doing your best to explain the phrase "Up against the wall, motherfucker" to me, at my request, when I was 7.
Thank you for providing a childhood environment where on any given weekend there would be people in our living room doing Tai Chi, mime or yoga, playing sitar or improvisational jazz piano, or discussing the finer points of eastern philosophy. The fact that the air was also typically blue with pot smoke may have been a contributing factor to my asthma, but on the whole I'd rather be wheezy and creative than boring but able to breathe well.
Thank you for teaching me to cast astrological charts and read tarot cards.
Thank you for taking that job at the birth control, VD and abortion information centre when I was 8. Thanks to going in there after school to wait for you to get off work, I was not only able to tell all my friends where babies came from in great detail, but also the early warning signs of syphilis and gonorrhea. No wonder I didn't have sex until I was 25.
Thank you for teaching me to question authority, and not getting too pissed off when the authority I questioned was sometimes yours.
Thank you for ensuring I would not develop the kind of drug habits many of my friends later did in their teens and 20s, by making sure that recreational drug use was firmly ensconced in my mind as "one of those boring things your parents do", like playing bridge, rather than something forbidden and exciting. And also for telling me enough of your own entertaining drug stories that, despite not doing drugs myself, I have never been at a loss for something to contribute when friends were discussing that sort of thing.
Thank you for reacting to my discovering Wicca in my teens by asking if you could borrow some of my books, and maybe come to a circle sometime. And, a dozen years later, asking me to perform your handfasting when you remarried.
Thank you for taking me to my first lesbian bar when I was 19, even though you were and are straight, because you knew I was struggling with coming out and figured meeting some actual lesbians might be helpful. And thank you for not being overly startled when I came out a second time as bisexual 18 years later. And polyamorous four years after that.
Thank you for complimenting my creativity instead of freaking out like most parents when I dyed my hair six different colours, crimped it, and teased it out until it looked like a pom pom except for the shaved parts. And thank you for coming out to punk (and later industrial) concerts with me and my friends, and nearly giving the security guy who was checking everyone's ID at the MDC show a heart attack when he looked at the birth date on your driver's license before he actually looked at you.
Thank you for being proud of me when I was arrested in my first civil disobedience action, and for contributing poetry to the anarchist journal I was a volunteer editor for in my early 20s.
Thank you for understanding when I later became cynical and disillusioned with political activism, since the same thing had happened to you 20 years earlier.
Thank you for helping me understand that even though the world isn't going to change overnight, it's still worth trying to make it better, even in small ways.
Above all, thank you for being a courageous, freaky and fascinating person. And for doing your best to make sure I grew up to be one too.