My mom Eve turns 80 today. Here is a picture of her and my dad that I’m guessing is from some time in the 70s. A family friend posted it on Facebook just yesterday, and I’m including it not because of the wonderfulness of my parents’ union—they divorced—but because I think she looks so beautiful here. My mother is—cliche but true—a beautiful person both inside and out, a person whose only ambition for her children is that they be happy and make their own dreams come true. She charms people wherever she goes. I’ve been inspired by her independence, her engagement with the world, her humor, and her kindness. She took up meditation in her 70s. And—admirably—did not crater when my stepfather died, but stayed active and beyond lively: last New Year’s Eve, she went to three parties—that’s three more than me—and does not want for suitors, even though she’s got little interest in them. For over 30 years, she’s been my only parent: I haven’t always been easy, and she’s handled the worst that I can dish out with grace and dignity. I love her a lot, and you would too. She reads this blog every day, so join me in wishing her the best, won’t you?