Poem: Happy Birthday to the Best Mom on Earth!

The Backstory

My mom Margaret is truly amazing.

Start humming any old song and within seconds, as she figures out what key it’s in, her hands are flying up and down the piano keyboard, rocking out the song in a rich outpouring of sound and rhythm. Is the song too high or too low? No problem, she’ll just transpose it on the fly.

She can spell any word, and likely inform you of its etymolgy too. She will correct your usage of lielay, laid, and lain. With a passion for animals, she eagerly watches webcams of falcon chicks, and excitedly informs you as they are about to fledge. She educates everyone who will listen (and even those who won’t!) that rat poison is bad for hawks.

Reader: Do not use rat poison! It’s bad for hawks! (See Mom? I’m helping!)

(Reader: Seriously, rat poison kills raptors. Find another way to get rid of rodents.)

She follows politics and current events. She attracts people to her wherever she goes, resulting in a busy social life of choral events, luncheons, book groups, movies and plays, activism, and laughter. She takes long brisk walks. She has traveled far and wide with two of her best friends, Kathie and Betsy, who also happen to be her sisters. Those Snyder girls have always had a good time together.

And she makes puns.

Really bad ones.

We forgive her, though, because her pun-making is often closely tied to our Manhattan-drinking, and her Manhattans are oh-so-delicious. She’s almost as good at mixing Manhattans as she is at playing the piano. So initially we roll our eyes and laugh politely (while inwardly cringing), but pretty soon, as the Manhattans flow, we really are laughing.

Uproariously, actually.

She throws really good parties.

Mostly, my mom is kind, supportive, wise and, above all, loving.

I truly have the best mom on Earth.

Happy Birthday to the Best Mom on Earth!

She can always draw crowds, can my talented mother,
Behold this whole room, full of people who love her!
And because it’s her birthday, I hereby propose
We hear a few stories not everyone knows!

As a good older sister, she couldn’t be beat:
She taught her two sisters the best way to sneak!
With signals for “Wait!” and “Be silent!” and “Run,”
The Snyder girls’ sneaking was serious fun!

For their parents’ big party, the kids hid the dessert
In a closet; young Margaret was wisely alert
That ants would be bad, so for everyone’s sake
She sprinkled ant poison around the whole cake!

She survived raising kids who’d squirt toothpaste from tubes;
Smash buckets of snails; visit neighbors while nude;
Lie down in rain puddles; catch insects that sting;
Make strangers perform, saying, “Stand up and sing!”

She’s a musical genius! Start humming a song,
Soon she’s rocking it out as the crowd roars along.
She’s a flawless performer, even when some young dunce
Turns – at the hard part! – two pages at once!

Mom’s reveled in France and in England and Sweden;
Endured a bus ride near a cliff in New Zealand;
Astonished Samoans with her very-white legs;
Discovered Koreans are big on raw eggs.
In the Amazon jungle, she and Betsy drank rum –
The size of their bill proves they really had fun!
She couldn’t stop saying of Sequoia’s huge trees:
“I cannot believe this! It can’t be believed!”
She wore garbage-bag raincoats in Pinnacles Park;
She and Kathie have laughed and they’ve laughed in the dark.
They’ve driven RVs, which was great up until
It somehow got stuck in the dirt on a hill!

She’s an expert at spelling and grammar and words;
She saves feral cats and she feeds hummingbirds.
Armed with a bullhorn, she shouts from her box,
“Do not use rat-poison! It’s bad for the hawks!”

She’s the life of the party, bringing music and booze;
She’s witty and gracious, but here’s the bad news:
She tells terrible puns! (Though a funny thing happens –
They improve as you drink her delicious Manhattans!)

“One-Beer Snyder” has blossomed – just look at her now:
A super-accomplished and talented gal;
In her crown is her family, who sparkle like gems;
Like a rich cloak around her, she’s warmed by good friends.
Fans and admirers surround her en masse
For her wisdom and passion and kindness and class.

Mom, you’re amazing! We’re awestruck by you:
By what you have done, and by what you still do.
You’re loved by so many – I don’t want to boast
But I’m pretty darn sure that I love you the most.
You’re my friend and safe harbor – more than treasure you’re worth!
Happy birthday dear Mama, the best mom on Earth.

1 Comment Poem: Happy Birthday to the Best Mom on Earth!

  1. Marilee

    Thanks for this wonderful poem, Carol. It reminds me of how truly special your mom and my Margie is. She has brightened my life for the last 75 years. I am so lucky to call her my friend.

    With love,


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