An obsession with birthdays — thanks to my mom!

I really don’t know how she did it: a single mom of two young kids and a dog, so much younger than I am today, my mom always seemed to have it together!

Especially when it came to birthdays. And Christmas. And good report cards! And throwing a parade for no reason at all.

When I turned 13 1/2 (yes, thirteen and a HALF), my mom threw me a wicked cool birthday-surprise-party that haunts me to this day. She had all my friends show up at the bowling alley for the party, and I ran in there under the guise of delivering some cash to my brother who had supposedly forgotten it then SURPRISE! Except, being 13 year olds, they were all just hanging around the video arcade disorganized so I saw them and burst into tears because I hadn’t been invited. It was a terrible wonderful day.

Generous to a fault, my mom remembers everyone for every occasion large and small. 99% of the times in my life that I have received flowers, they have been from my mom. When she sees a great item on sale, she stocks up for those future gift-giving occasions. Her “gift wrapping room” is bigger than our kitchen. If you are visiting her home at Christmastime, she will heap gifts on you like you’re one of the family so you never feel left out.

It is a very kind and thoughtful woman that can do so much and make it look effortless.

So, do I have that same gift for gifting? Not exactly. What I do have is a weird obsession with birthdays and celebrations of any kind. Unfortunately, my desire to give the perfect gift and only the perfect gift (that’s the engineer in me) collides with my Berkeley/COMPACTy feeling that no gift at all is a better choice (because, really, who needs the clutter?!). Consequently, I kind of suck at gift giving right now.

But I know I have that party/birthday/gifty gene. It will triumph some day. Right?

I will slowly stock my gift closet with fabulous finds and never again attend a birthday party empty-handed. Some day. Not this week, but soon.

As a Mother’s Day Blog Blast tribute to our mothers, Parent Bloggers Network asked us to think of what we inherited from our moms; and I hope this is it. If not her generosity and knack for giving presents, maybe I inherited her gift of easy tears. Certainly not her keen fashion sense or her love of makeup and hairstyles. Visit the Celebrity Mama Auction to find some cool goodies and help a great cause.