Denise was my friend in the apartment across from ours. She was probably one of my very first friends stored in my memory bank. I was five years old. She lived with her mom. I remember her mom spoke differently, but I did not know country she was from. I remember her feeding Denise an open piece of bread with melted cheese on it. That seemed odd to me, but I figured that was what they did in her mother's country.

Once my mom said I could go to the grocery store with Denise and her mom. Denise said she always rode under the basket below the shopping cart and it was fun. I knew my mom would never let me, but I climbed under with her anyway. As her mother spun the cart around aisles and down the meat department I threw up orange chunks all over the floor. I never had the desire to ride under the shopping cart again. They also never invited me on their grocery shopping excursions again.

Another time I was playing at Denise's house. I told her I needed to get home before dinner time because my mother would be cutting my bangs. She told me she had scissors, that she was six, and she cut bangs all the time! I thought it would be nice for my mom to not have to do it, she hated to cut my bangs. She said it was so hard to get them straight. I let her cut my bangs, Denise was pleased with her work. We played some more and then I went home for dinner. Completely forgetting about my newly cut bangs.

I walked into our door wondering what was for dinner and trying hard to not forget about how they make cheese sandwiches in other countries so I could tell my mom about it. Once I walked in the whole room burst into laughter. I looked all around me, I had no idea what the joke was I missed out on. My mom couldn't get her laugh under control for a few minutes, but immediately came over to me and through her giggling she wiped away a few tears she asked me who cut my bangs.

It was totally a Ramona Quimby Moment. I told her the story, totally stressed out I was going to get in trouble. I remember telling everyone "She said she was six! Six year olds know how to cut bangs! She does it all the time!" It made perfect sense to me, why would my friend lie to me?

The best part, the next day would be picture day. My mom tried to even them out a little, but there wasn't much left. She made sure I would wear the prettiest dress I had and assured me they would grow out. That it wasn't a big deal. So that was how I decided to feel about it.

That day I learned some lessons. Six year olds really don't know how to cut bangs very well, afterall. Not every friend is going to be honest even if you would never ever lie to them in your whole life. And you know, some situations really are so ridiculous you have to laugh about it. I love that about my mom, she never really got mad at me about anything. She was good about finding the humor in situations and not making a big deal about it. Was never one to scream about spilled milk. I enjoy that at times I can laugh at myself instead of getting to upset. And I am working on laughing with my children instead of getting too upset more often.

My favorite memories of my mom are the ones where we are laughing together.

Thanks mom for all you have always done taking care of me and laughing with me. I can't believe we were in the hospital this week under the impression birth was a go with Mike in London. I can't think of anyone else I would want by my side in his absence. Although I'm glad it was a false alarm so Mike can be there for the birth, I really appreciated being excited with you and having that time together. Thanks for running that red light for me. And trying to fix my bangs that day. And everything before that, between those two times, and whatever comes next. You're the best!
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