Yo, everybody, listen up. It’s my mom’s BIRTHDAY on Sunday! WOOOO! I consider my birthday to be the most important holiday of the year, but without my mom’s birthday, mine wouldn’t even be on the calendar, so according to the laws of transitive property (I have no clue what I’m talking about), February 26 is also a day of deep significance. And now, in honor of that great day, I have a special message to my mother:

Mom, first of all, I’m sorry for being a pill when I was 17! While I consider it the most fun year of my life, it was also the brattiest. You may remember (OK, you will definitely remember) that one night over Christmas when you had to pick me up from a party at three AM after I decided to “test my limits.” I spent the next day on the couch, nursing myself back to life via ginger ale and Happy Feet in an attempt to reclaim my innocence, and you came downstairs and made fun of me for watching Happy Feet as a way to reclaim my innocence. That year I partied a lot more than ever before. I snuck around every weekend, drinking beer and gaining weight. I blamed it on the jar of fresh granola that you made and kept on the counter, just out there asking me to eat it 24/7, but that’s not why I gained weight. I gained weight because I turned my insides into a beer aquarium, duh! Your granola is really good, and it’s healthier than beer. It has fiber. Beer just has bubbles.

Thank you for paying for stuff. Thank you for always having prosciutto in the fridge. Thanks for teaching me how to cook when I was basically still an infant. Thank you for giving me small portions of coffee and wine at the table since I was eight, telling me that I’d be like a little French girl.

Thanks for performing the general task of passing down what I consider motherly traits, like dressing nicely, creating a well-designed home, and being a good hostess. I’m the only person my age who polishes silver for parties and, like, serves people. And because I was raised by you, I’m pretty consistently overdressed for all occasions, which is cool. Thanks for encouraging my creative potential, which I got from you and which you got from your father. It’s nice having a parent who thinks being creative is THE most viable career path for me, and wasn’t all “[Garble garble] art school is for losers.” That’s real talk!

The BIGGEST thanks is for giving me so many hilarious stories to retell, the ones that me and my friends call “Oh, Janet” stories because, well, you know, OH, JANET. I like to tell the one about when we went down to Portland last summer. During this really fancy dinner, I was describing to you how I fall asleep sometimes during lectures and you looked at me and said, “Dylan, I’ve had that problem my whole life, too. I’ve always suspected I’ve had narcoleptica.” Yeah, that one disease that makes you fall asleep all of the time? Definitely called narcoleptica. Oh, Janet.

Now that I’ve fully exposed how hilarious and great you are, here’s a little jam by the Shaggs to celebrate. Think of it as a replacement for the cake that I won’t be able to make you because I’m not there this year. I know it’s nowhere near as good as the song you wrote that you like to sing to me whenever I’m pissed off at you, the one that goes, “I am awesome/ You are so lucky that you have me as a mom!” But happy birthday, Mom!