Happy Birthday, Mom!

Today is my Mom’s birthday. Today she is turning 60, and as she is probably the most loyal reader of this blog, I figure a post celebrating her is in order.

Christensens at Pat O'Briens

Here is a recent photo of my family while in New Orleans. She’s front and center, and around the table, we have my Dad, my wife, me, my sister, and her husband.

New Orleans is the city of her childhood and mine. While driving around, she pointed out the hospital where she was born, the neighborhood she grew up in, her grammar school, her high school, the school where she taught, everything. All summed up in one drive. She pointed out the places that meant something to her, and now I want to point out some of the things she’s done that have meant something to me.

Mom has a great sense of humor, and loves going on adventures. She will tell you that you’re never too old to stop believing in fairies. That sense of wonder and spirit is something she gave to both my sister and I. Maybe it’s all the laughing and exploring that helps us stay young and happy.

Hm. Adventures and never growing up? What does that sound like? I suppose it’s no coincidence that something similar is turning 60 too:

Peter Pan

Perhaps the easiest way to have an adventure is to travel, something Mom always encouraged my sister and I to do. Although I have never picked the second star on the right and sailed straight on ’til morning, when I was 14, she let me go to Europe with family friends. I ended up lost and alone in Paris for a few hours, almost missing my train back to London (an adventure I didn’t tell her about until after I was home safe). She also encouraged me to study in Russia.

But perhaps the greatest adventure I’ve been on has been getting married. And because Mom did such a good job raising me, I found a wonderful woman who also loves a good laugh and a good adventure.

One of the first trips Laura and I took was to Rome. Having grown up eating my Mom’s wonderful cooking, I tend to travel to places known for their food. But while there, like many tourists, we reinacted a scene from another famous movie turning 60 this year. Let me give you a hint:

Roman Holiday

Thankfully, both Laura and I returned to the States with both hands still attached.

Laura Rome

Eric Rome

So thank you, Mom. Thank you for teaching me to laugh, that it’s ok to be a little immature every now and then, and that I should always try something new. I can’t wait to see adventures will have next.

Happy birthday! Love, Eric.

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