It’s Mother’s Day!** I’m not a big fan of “Hallmark holidays”, but I’ll happily take any excuse to celebrate the awesomeness of my mom. Especially now that I’m 1500 miles away, it’s nice to have a reason to think and talk about how lucky I am and how great my mom is. Not that I need a reason. I’ve extolled the virtues of “Fangirl Prime” on Verity! more than once “just because”.
My mom taught me how to be a fan. Deb is the one who coined the term “Fangirl Prime” for my mom, and it’s really perfect. Mom was the first person I ever witnessed participating in fandom. She subscribed to fanzines and was a member of fan clubs. She went to Doctor Who conventions. She videotaped the show religiously–going so far as to rent a hotel room to do it when it conflicted with an Important Packers Game. She coveted a Tom Baker scarf for years (until I learned how to knit to make one for her).
Even beyond the fandom-specific stuff, she taught me what it means to truly love genre fiction. Our basement was filled with shelves. Those shelves were filled with pulp sci-fi paperbacks, collections of Hugo-winning stories, and delightful fantasy series with dragons and trolls. And that was never enough!
We went to the library every month (at least once). I was always amazed at the giant stack of books Mom came home with. I remember counting over 20 in her pile one month! That inspired me to pick up the pace. I wanted to read fast like my mommy! And it worked. Eventually my paltry piles of 4 or 5 books a month grew. And then my library piles shrank as I realized a treasure trove already existed in my very own home.
I started working my way through those basement shelves. I discovered Heinlein and Simak. I lapped up Dickson and Biggle. I lost myself in the worlds of Tolkien and McCaffrey. I found lifetime-favourites in Norton and Asimov. Eventually I devoured Ellison. To say that those works had a significant impact on my development as a person is an understatement. I think some of those books were my dad’s, but it was my mom I always saw reading. She’s the one who actively inspired me to read and absorb so much.
I wouldn’t be a person without my mom–who would? Just as importantly–if not more–I wouldn’t be the person I am without her example. When I think about all I’ve achieved and the amazing things that have happened to me lately (specifically in the world of Doctor Who and podcasting) I positively marvel at them (or am completely baffled). Then I realize my mom is at the root of all those things, and they make more sense in my head. Of course good things can happen to me if my mom is involved somehow.
So today my heart is in Wisconsin, where it is showering love and gratitude upon that wonderful woman. Renae Ensign, Fangirl Prime, Mom — I love you more than I can say, and I hope today (and every day) is filled with all of the best things the world has to give.
*I love this pic of my mom. Not sure how old she was, but lots of people have told me I look like her. When I compare this one to my high school pics, I can totally see it. And it’s awesome! I hope I age as gracefully as she has.
**I also feel like I should point out that I’m doubly lucky this Mother’s Day. Now that I’m hitched, I’ve got a bonus-Mom! She’s pretty damn awesome too, and I’m thrilled to have her in my life. This post in no way minimizes that. There’s enough love and gratitude to go around. Yay!
***Proof of the DW-fangirlocity! This was one of many Doctor Who shirts she wore regularly. And yes. That is a chubby little me right next to her in my sweet windbreaker with the pink shoulders.
˚She may not be thrilled with this particular pic, but I think she looks lovely (and like she’s planning something clever). I don’t have many recent pictures, so there wasn’t a lot to work with. I was hoping to find one with a smile, because my mom’s smile is awesome and happy-making.