Time to put in “kitty brain”

Merry Christmas!

My wife once had a dream; I seem to recall that it was in the midst of much stress, in which she was told to take out her brain and put in kitty brain.  For years that has been code to remind ourselves to chelax, often in the midst of parents falling ill, falling down stairs and even falling into death.

So, whether this Christmas finds you naughty or nice; whether everyone got what he or she wanted or did not; whether family is making you cozy, crazy or sad; please don’t forget to put in kitty brain if it helps.

But before I put in kitty brain, I also want to wish my mom a very happy birthday.

Although my mom shares a birthday with another extreme V.I.P., when I was growing up my mom’s birth was an even a greater mystery than Jesus’ because while we new the date of my mom’s birth, no one ever knew the actual year of birth. 

I’m sure there are many reasons for this, some of which include a fear of death (related to her dad’s death when she was fourteen), vanity, a gypsy-like tendency to witchy agelessness and a youthful spirit that believed that you were only as old as you believed that you were.  This was also a time when it was considered highly impolite to ask a lady her age (which probably contributes to the current ageism of our culture, not to mention a paucity of wisdom—after all, when our go-to figures are twenty-something, we might be smart, but can we be wise?).

And so it is that my mom, getting older with the years as we all do, is also somehow timeless.  I think we are all timeless in our own way, looking out of eyes that don’t feel much older than when we were two or five… until we catch a glimpse in the mirror and adjust, once again, to that creature being our avatar.  If you want to know what my mom truly looks like, picture Mary Tyler Moore (who she was always told she looked just like) circa mid-nineteen-sixties Dick Van Dyke Show.  I loved the Mary Tyler Moore Show too, but I could never quite adjust to that single Mary after she was so clearly the married mother… I sometimes even wonder if my mom lived in black and white before Mary threw her gonna-make-it-after-all cap up in the air.

Anyway, it has taken my mom eighty years to finally and definitively pin the year of her birth down and out herself as no longer twenty-seven.  It’s a bit sad that my dad is now in a nursing home and my mom is soldiering on more maturely and bravely than I’ve ever seen her.  I guess it takes us however long to grow up as it takes, but I am quite proud of my mom and the spiritual path she is on.

As a parent, I can only imagine that what I would want for my kids thirty years from now is that they should be happy and not think that I ruined their lives.  Whether my mom figures out how to click onto this blog or not, I still wanted to send her fantastic birthday wishes and the assurance that I appreciate her and feel most grateful for all that is, exactly as it has been.  Not always fun or nourishing, but all’s well that ends well and I wouldn’t want to trade a thing about it or our relationship, which is not to say that it has been perfect (which is exactly what makes it so perfect).  Even if she did literally shoot me down as a WWI flying ace in a past life (for more on that see: http://tiny.cc/LF9Er), you simply have to love her.

So, before placing kitty brain firmly in skull, I want to dedicate today to appreciating our mothers, since for better or for worse none of us would be here without them—honoring the mother in each of us, man and woman alike, and harnessing our gratitude to the benefit of all our collective children.

Merry Christmas to all & Happy 80th Birthday to Mom!

Namaste, Bruce



4 Responses to “Time to put in “kitty brain””

  1. BigLittleWolf Says:

    A lovely post for today. Happy holidays, Bruce – and happy birthday to your mom!

  2. Stephanie Says:

    Thanks Bruce – and Hello Mom! It’s so fun that we are both reading Dr. Bruce’s Blog, I really love that about you!


  3. Chris Says:

    Happy birthday Mrs. D
    boy am I glad you were such an interesting mom

    I still don’t know what kitty brain is

  4. Aleta Says:

    Hi Stephanie and thank you, Dr. Bruce:
    Christmas Day was also my dad’s birthday. If he were alive, he would be 90. When I was about ten, I was trying to figure out how to afford both Christmas and Birthday presents for him, so I bought him a pair of pretty cheap gloves, one hand for each occasion. Whatever works for family….

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