They weren’t lying when they called you ‘best’

By David Valdes

I have a Pekinese-Pug named Bailey. He’s a little guy with a squished nose, but, I’m telling you, the dog is smart. He’s an amazing judge of character and he never really seems to get it wrong.

Take, for example, his first time meeting the family. My sister and my brother-in-law brought the little guy in my room and placed him on the floor. He was so tiny; you could scoop him up with just one hand. We could all sense that he was pretty scared of his surroundings and of us. Doing the best he could to acclimate himself with the situation he began to glance slowly around the room.

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I don’t know when or how it happened but at some point, he glanced at my mom and something clicked.ÿHe could tell she loved him unconditionally already. They had spent no more than two minutes together and the two had already fallen in love.

She picked him up and started doing that Puerto Rican baby talk that I can’t even spell but remember hearing a lot of throughout my own childhood. That’s Carmen for you. She’s sort of like the perpetual mother and I’m willing to wager that she’s been this way since before she had my oldest sister, Lori.

My mom is the most giving and loving person I know. And she’s always in search of someone to take care of. Believe me, anyone who walks into my house should just call her Mom off the bat, because she’s going to treat you like you’re one of her own.

What’s the best way for her to do this? At the dinner table, of course. This lady will not take no for an answer.ÿIf you happen to be in the house anywhere near breakfast, lunch, dinner or at any snack time in between, you will be forced to eat. And she’ll turn deaf on you if you decide to tell her you’re full.ÿSorry, but you will eat (and enjoy) your food, even if you’ve already eaten. Come to think of it, it’s a wonder my dog Bailey’s not overweight.

The great thing about my mom is that even though she’s always in mom-mode, she’s your friend too. And quite possibly, your coolest friend. At my sister’s wedding, I dare say my mom had just as many fans as my sister did. People were lining up (I kid you not) to dance with her.ÿ

Another example? Well, our dinner schedule on Thursdays must work around The O.C. because God forbid she miss Sandy Cohen’s astonishing eyebrows.

Speaking of television shows, I cannot think of one show that she’s ever actually referred to correctly. She called Beverly Hills, 90210 by her own nickname (and by nickname, I mean she totally thought this was the show’s name), “901.”ÿHow hard is it to add those extra two numbers, Mom? So you can imagine how excited we were when she got hooked on The O.C., which is quite possibly the easiest title to remember. No word yet on if she’s messed that one up.

Growing up, I’d always hear, “Oh your mom is awesome!” It’s something you never get sick of hearing. Realizing that it’s completely true as I’ve grown up has been one of my proudest achievements. I love and appreciate everything about my mom, from the pancakes and the ironed shirts, to the vacuuming at nine in the morning when I’m trying to sleep – I love my mom!