This is my mom at 14. Queen of the drag race. A hot number by anybody’s standards. And only 14. We make a big deal out of the Miley Cyrus’ and the Jamie Lynn Spears’ but just look at my mom at 14. My mother is mostly strong but like the rest of us, occasionally breaks. She has a gift for saying exactly the wrong thing at the wrong time but mostly, she means well. She can’t handle a crisis and often loses it with intense dramatic flair. She is foul-mouthed most of the time anyway but during a crisis the cursing reaches a fever pitch — “cocksucker” and “asshole” were used quite frequently during my childhood.

What I admire most about my mom is how she turned her life – a pregnant teen high school drop-out – into what she’s become today – a smart business woman and property owner. She can’t spell to save her life, knows next to nothing about history, math or science; her education has come from living, struggling and watching a lot of TV. Self-educating sometimes builds more interesting people. My mom is one of a kind – no one who knows her would dispute that. It was a hard life for us. Four kids to a single mother back in the ’60s in Topanga – one creepy boyfriend after the next – no money, no new clothes – but somehow we’re all here anyway. My mother ain’t perfect. No mother is. And like most will tell you, once I became a mother I understood how difficult it must have been for her, with four of us. She screamed and yelled, threw things, smacked us around – and now I see how, no matter what your hopes and dreams are, despite everything you wanted to do somehow being a mom feels like complete failure from Day One.

So Happy Mother’s Day to my mother, my crazy, imperfect, unique, mess of a mother – in truth, I’m happy I had one at all.