My mother, Darlene Lester, is an amazing woman. I am lucky to be her son. Someday I will write a more eloquent post about that. Tonight I’ll just show you a couple things. First is a note that I wrote her when I was about four:

This note says a lot about my mom. First, she had taught me how to write letters by the age of four, which I think is unusual. I can still remember her teaching me to write “N.” (The secret, by the way, is to remember the phrase “Up, down, up.” That’s how she taught me.) The second is the story of the note. (This is as I recall you telling me, Mom–correct me if I’m wrong) I asked her to tell me what letter made each sound over quite a long period of time, maybe an hour or two, as I painstakingly sounded out my message. She was so available and patient with me! Third, the note says, translated, “I would like some orange juice. Signed Nathen.” I handed her the note when I was done with it, probably translating it for her, too. I was asking for orange juice, which was about the closest thing I ever had to candy until I was about nine years old. Mostly I was eating from my mom’s garden, goats, chickens, and the whole-foods co-op my mom helped run back in the 1970s in Joshua Tree. Fourth, my mom kept this note for thirty years. She gave it to me a few years ago and told me the story, still so delighted and proud that she had gotten to be with me, to spend so much time with me as a kid. My mom loves her sons so whole-heartedly! It’s been a pleasure and a privilege to be one of them.

Here’s a photo of us from about that time.

Nathen, Darlene, mid-1970s

Happy Mothers Day, Mom!