And why does she rock? This could get long...
First off, you have to understand that my mom's mom, and, really, whole childhood family, had some problems. And she somehow managed to pull herself out of them and build a much saner, more loving family for her adult (and my childhood) years. That's good because I would be a lot less fun to be around than she is if I'd been raised in the family she was. Is that convoluted enough?
My mom was of the "children are little people" school of thought before it was a bandwagon. This worked out well for me and my brother.
She makes kick-ass jewelry. Really, just ask anyone who's seen it. Or you could come over and see my jewelry collection for a small sampling of her great stuff. This has showed me that you can make a living doing something you love and never set foot in an office. I aspire to that.
My mom has travelled and held odd jobs and done all sorts of interesting and unusual things with her life. She and my dad were even in a movie! In Spain! How cool is that?
My mom did not die of the deadly potaytay (sp?), for which I am eternally grateful.
My mom was the mom that all my friends wished they had when we were teenagers, and I agreed with them.
She has also given me an excellent list of things not to bother trying, because she did and they weren't worth it. So I won't have to smoke banana peels experimentally, which is a great relief.
I could go on for a long time, but I'll close with this:
My mom manages to hold one of the viewpoints that I think is essential for the smooth functioning of a "mixed salad" multicultural democracy: The ability not to like a person's choices and still give him/her the freedom to make those choices, even when that person is her daughter. And she's helped me develop that ability in myself.
That really rocks. And so does she :)