This is a picture of me and my mom, taken in the summer of 1948. I wasn’t even a year old. Mildred Vandam Bornstein died about 12 years ago. I was lucky enough to have a mother-son relationship with her as I was growing up, and a mother-daughter relationship with her for seven years as an adult.
A few years back, I wrote a piece that was published in The New York Times Sunday Magazine, under the title "Her Son/Daughter." I’d called the piece "Hoowahyoo," but editors tend to dick around with your work, especially titles of short pieces. No matter.
Every September 9th, I open up this document on my hard drive and I read it and I smile and cry a little. If you know my work, you’ve probably read it before. But in honor of my mom’s birthday, I’m presenting it for the first time here on my blog. This is the uncut version, with the extra bit about my phone sex hostess days that my mother never did know about.