My mom jokes that according to my blog, she’s ruined my life. I laugh right back. She knows it’s not true – but she also knows that she’s taking a chance when she reads my posts because, as humans, we make mistakes. We all do – one day, I’ll be privy to all the things that I did to my son that ‘ruined his life’ – but he’ll still love me. And I still love my mom – and she most certainly did *NOT* ruin my life.
We don’t always see eye to eye on things – like clothes, tattoos, piercings and hair…but she never told me I could not wear what I wanted. Ever. Yes, she did stop speaking to me for a few months after she discovered my one ‘small’ tattoo turned into a back piece – but we worked that out. And I will never forget coming home from a club at age 17 (one in which I was forbidden to go) and seeing her eyes glowing red as she sat in the dark in a chair waiting for me… and she did freak out a
little, OK, A LOT when I sported black and orange hair as a teenager… but in the scope of life – that’s pretty small.
My mom did a pretty amazing thing – she opened a business when I was 14 years old – a bagel bakery. She made the best bagels going at The Bagel Hearth. Because of that, I started working when I was 14, bought all my own clothing, bought my own car, paid for my own insurance and got to forego having to work at a fast food restaurant in my teen years. That’s pretty amazing.
Anyone that has any experience with a business in food service knows how hard it is – how much of a toll it takes on everyone’s lives. You don’t ever ‘leave’ your deli/bakery/restaurant when you go home at night – it’s always in your life – well, it becomes your life. I won’t lie – the Bagel Hearth tore my world apart – and my Mom eventually had to shut things down for a variety of reasons. I know she saw herself as a failure – but I want her to know she was NOT a failure. She took a chance and showed what kind of steel she has in her spine to run a business that is in constant motion 24 hours a day. Baking bagels is extremely complex. Everything from the bagels soaking in water to how many times it rotates around in the oven to when you flip them off the canvas bagel boards is about timing. Do you know where many bakers learn to bake bagels? In jail. So she’s starting off with a entirely unique segment of society as an added extra.
Out of all of it – yes, it tore our world apart – but everyone rebuilt it better than before. I have a lot of different kinds of memories of my years at the Bagel Hearth – some bad and many fantastic. But mostly it was of my mom taking a chance and showing everyone that a woman can run a business and make the best freakin’ bagels in Arizona.
Mom – I salute you this Mother’s Day – you are, and always will be, “The Bagel Lady”.