Remember the time you dropped me off at nursery school at 8 a.m., then went to the hairdresser -- forgetting that the school was closed for some obscure Jewish holiday persons of the Irish Catholic persuasion weren't recognizing in 1954? There I sat, tears running down a freckled nose until hours later, a nice man walked by and asked who I was. I couldn't remember my name, or my address.
And what about the day I was leaving for camp and I put my suitcase out on the driveway and you ran over it, backing up the black Chevy Impala convertible with red leather interior.
A few years later, we wanted a dog so Dad went out and got Rocky, a large, slobbering boxer whose favorite spot to poop was the Oriental rug in the hallway. "It's either me or the dog," you screamed one morning. I voted for the dog. I lost.
Then there were the dancing lessons you insisted we take, the golf lesons that tore us away from Saturday morning "Sky King" shows, the series of babysitters who warped our minds with tales of teen-age love and our lungs with puffs from their Newports.
Remember the time I threatened to run away and you looked up briefly from your needlepoint and said, "Don't forget your toothbrush."
And what about the Tonette home hair permanents you insisted on giving me every September for the start of the school year? The cold, wet solution smelling of ammonia dripping down the back of my neck. The tight, frizzy curls and the June Allyson bangs.
I'll never forget how you instilled self-confidence in my gangly teen-age figure by praying every night that I'd stop growing. Or by encouraging exercises to increase my concave bust line. "I must, I must, I must improve my bust. I better, I better fill out my sweater."
Remember the time you loaned me your falsies for my first two-piece bathing suit and they fell out and floated to the top of the swimming pool?
And what about the time at the beach you found a letter I'd written to someone, using the phrase "screwed to the wall." You thought it meant having sexual intercourse by the seawall under the boardwalk so you locked me in my room for two weeks.
Then I went off to college and thought your reign of terror was over. I was wrong.
That first summer, I wanted to stay in Washington and share a house in Georgetown with four friends who happened to be male. "You mean you'd all be using the same bathroom?" you shrieked. I took an apartment.
In recent years, I must admit, you've mellowed some. You didn't get upset when that nice little green plant you'd been watering for months on the patio turned out to be marijuana. You merely flushed it down the toilet and mixed a martini.
And when you discovered through a taped telephone message that your daughter had already moved in with her future husband, you simply called and wept. "I had to hear it through the phone company. What will your father say? You've stabbed us in the back."
Last night, when I called and asked what you wanted for Mother's Day, you laughed and said, "Just your love." Always. CAPTION: Illustrations 1 through 3, no caption, O. Soglow; Copyright (c) 1932, 1960 The New Yorker Magazine, Inc.