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A Tribute to Mamala

1. A portmanteau of "Mama" and "Lola" (grandma)
2. The awesomest person who ever awesomed

The legend of Mamala is spoken of in hushed tones in the House of Fragrant. Her indefatigable spirit, boundless patience, and indescribable sense of humor remain the stuff of stories that we will pass on to our scion, Fragrant Infant.

The one word that defines Mamala is LOVE. She is the embodiment of this emotion, and could barely contain it within her tiny frame. We who were fortunate enough to be near her became the recipients of and witnesses to her love-power. She is basically Sailor Moon but with a lot more clothes on.

Here are the things Mamala loves, which all happen to start with the letter F:

All the food is for her. Seriously.
"Did mom eat everything she wanted do?" my brother asked a couple of days before Mamala's departure date. It was an important question. As Fragrant Husband observed, Mamala has trained us to structure every trip around food. Her 8,400-mile journey across the ocean was no exception. She scoured the entire city of Boston for her heart's desires:

-lobster roll
-durian shake
-fancy $3 cupcakes
-diner pancakes and waffles
-golden kiwis
-and so much more!

Mamala loves food so much that she lingers over each meal longer than humanly possible, warping space-time itself so she can stretch out her enjoyment of whatever delicious, invariably smelly foodstuff caught her fancy.

The upside was, she cooked for us as well, which as any new mom will tell you, is grounds for nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize. Many a morning would find her cackling over a cauldron of voodoo food stew or soup, apparently for good breastfeeding. Understandably, Husband politely opted out of some of the dishes.

Mamala is all about the trees, flowering plants, and basically anything that counts photosynthesis as its primary survival trait. The first time we went to the public gardens, she rocketed from tree to tree, reading up their names and saying hello to them, I am not joking.

She about lost her mind when the leaves started to change to their fall colors, and demanded a photo shoot with her grandson. Caveat: he had to wear his Patriots helmet. He somehow managed to sleep through the entire process, so everyone came away happy.

Well...I mean Mamala Fashion, which is all about layering every possible article of clothing because it's sixty degrees outside and she will freeze, don't you know being cold makes you catch a cold? It's just medical science.

However, she is pretty spectacular at finding designer handbags at ridiculous bargains (e.g. a $12 Tommy Hilfiger whose release into my custody I successfully negotiated). Her multiple trips to Boomerang's in Cambridge depleted her Charlie Card, totally worth it.

As a Certified Baby Whisperer, Mamala would take my fussy, wailing baby and have him snoozing peacefully on her chest so I could take a nap. She was so enchanted with him that she wanted to hold him as soon as she got up in the mornings, and she took joy in changing his diapers. She thought his cries of distress, which had me in near-panic in the early weeks, were adorable. She encouraged him to cry more. That's pretty special.

She also spoon-fed me pieces of her precious kiwi when I didn't have my hands free because of my little barracuda. Instead of feeling like a kid again, I felt like I was starting to understand what motherhood is all about: sacrifice, patience, generosity, and luuuuurve.


Best Mamala saying this trip: "We're all part of the same teamwork!"


Big hugs from half the world away to the best Mamala ever! I can only aspire to her levels of motherhood and Mamala-hood.

This post brought to you by a dessert that looked like chicken nuggets but tasted like Fig Newtons.

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