By Andrea Delbanco
Editor in Chief, TIME for Kids

I had the privilege of celebrating my mother’s 80th birthday over the weekend. In my toast, I thanked her for raising me with unwavering love and support, and for pushing me just the right amount. I tried but did not thrive at sleepaway camp, and she didn’t force me to go back. She patiently taught me to swallow a pill, watching me—dozens of times—as I rejected a tiny capsule after eating the entire bowl of ice cream that came with it. I also credit my mother with raising my sister and me to be best friends. I’ve emulated that with my daughters. After about a decade, the bickering has stopped and they’ve become great friends and allies. (I’m both proud and terrified about this, since sisters combine to an exponential power when being snide to their mother.)

I have only two complaints about my mom. The first is that I can’t blame her for my shortcomings. The second is that she didn’t pass down her artistic talents to me. These include her immense skills in painting and drawing, cooking, sewing, and writing fiction. (I am semi-skilled at filling in coloring books, microwaving meals, and writing nonfiction for kids.)

I feel very fortunate about her good health, and it feels appropriate to write about her, given that I usually focus on my parenting rather than that of my parents. What’s new with you? Reach out to me at andrea@time.com.


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