This Sunday is Mother's Day and I thought I'd write a little post about my mom, affectionately known as Roberta (or Broberta, or MOOOOM, or Mommy).
Roberta is actually a badass. As she self proclaimed on the phone a few weeks ago, "I'm just a Jew from Central Jersey", Roberta is a little bit of your stereotypical Jewish mother mixed with a bit of Amy Poehler's character in "Mean Girls". Roberta is definitely not your "regular mom" she's a "cool mom".
While my dad, is a true introvert and internal processor, Roberta is the complete opposite. She unapologetically speaks her truth, is typically the life of the party (you can find her with prosecco in hand...apple doesn't fall far from the tree), and will tell people how she's feeling. Or she'll post it on Instagram with hashtags that really aren't meant to be hashtags, but she doesn't care, because #shesRoberta (follow her @rrimmaudo).
Roberta is also a little crazy. One time my brother Biagio and I got in a HUGE fight driving home from Long Beach Island over a bag of potato chips and Roberta grabbed the bag of chips and let them fly out of the bag as we watched them pass by the window as she continued to drive 70mph back up to North Jersey. We still love her, but now we share our Cheddar Sour Cream and Onion Chips. (Sorry Mom!)
Roberta has taught me a few things and has been my rock for these past 28 years. Some of Roberta's most valuable lessons, whether she realizes it or not include the following:
You shouldn't care too much about what people think, just be yourself! I was a weird kid, maybe even a weirder adult, but I am so thankful growing up Roberta let me embrace my weirdness. Whether it was my emo phase, wanting to try to to be so Jersey and getting a spray tan for prom, the phase of monograms and bows, or having to drop me off at band, theater, dance rehearsals, etc. Roberta never stopped me from pursuing anything or being myself, no matter how different or crazy the activities were (except for sports, my parents didn't push this, I have two left feet and would probably have injured myself). While other Mom's were pushing their daughters to be popular or the prettiest or the lead in the play or the sports captain, Roberta just let me do my best and my best was enough. Even if my best was me in the basement of our house with my best friends making "music videos" to Dashboard Confessional and that song "Walkie Talkie Man".
Be Independent and Do YOU. When my mom was in high school she unexpectedly lost her dad and it was just my grandma and her for a little bit. Roberta was the youngest sibling by 10 years and had always been pretty independent. With all of that, I think that's why Roberta always pushed me to go out and do new things and be totally independent. While I think I definitely get my spirit of adventure from both of my parents, Roberta definitely has more of a YOLO mentality than Moreno. Growing up Roberta would suggest ice cream after dinner, driving down the shore spontaneously to see something or enjoy the beach, or buying some great tickets to see Elton John this coming October in Nashville in the middle of the week because WHY THE HELL NOT (Roberta language).
Prosecco, espresso, and carbs should be their own food group. No explanation needed
Don't waste your time on shitty people and keep your close friends close. One of my constant memories of Roberta is our house phone ringing and it always being one of her girlfriends, usually my Aunt Dode (her childhood best friend). I remember her being on the phone for minutes at a time just chatting and catching up. Now as an adult I realize how important it is to have phone calls with our friends, near and far, and not over text, but truly talking, or Facetiming! I have seen my mom with her friends and knew one day I wanted to have friends like that too. I have seen my mom really give time to those who matter to her outside of family, but with her friends. She's even still good friends with my childhood friend's moms even though we may have grew apart. I think that's special. So to my friends who send me straight to voicemail, know I want to chat because Roberta chats.
Just be a good person. We didn't really grow up in a religious household, sure we showed up to Mass on Christmas Eve or had a menorah at Chanukah, but religion didn't always play a huge role in our lives. Growing up there were kids who were just straight up mean to me, or as a young adult boys who broke my heart, or friends who turned out not to be truly friends to me, and throughout all of that Roberta always preached to just be nice and not to let it get me down. She always preached "Karma" and reminded me to keep my chin up. She also then would add, "Who do I have to go Jersey on?"
I hope one day I can be half the mom Roberta is. My friend's make fun of me because I talk to Roberta at least twice a day on the phone and also tag her in memes all of the time, because well, she's Roberta and Roberta does Instagram (ask Briana, my coworkers, Britta, Jeff, Jessie, etc.) I am so lucky to have her as a mom and anyone who knows her is lucky to have her in their life!
Happy Mother's Day Mom!