Do you want to get instant recognition? Easy. Let people know that your mother is 100. (And pray that they don’t do the math to try to figure out your age in the process!)

It’s true that I am extremely blessed, as is my sister, our husbands and all of the grandchildren who love and cherish their Nana.

So, what’s Nana like at 100? On one hand, low-key. On the other hand, she’s a rock star.

With regard to mental capacity, she’s 100%. She’s sharp, witty, self-effacing, curious and, yes, a bit judgmental. In other words, not very different from how she’s always been. My mother loves politics (she managed my late father’s political campaigns for over 20 years) and she remains an astute observer of both the national scene as well as the local Boston landscape.

She loves Joe Biden and Michelle Wu. She was an enthusiastic supporter of her district City Councillor Matt O’Malley, who’s decided to call it quits. Did you know he arranged for last Jan. 10 to be officially designated “Eleanor Fisher Kaplan Day” in Boston?

Eleanor is a proud Jew and looks forward to weekly virtual Shabbat services at her residential retirement community in Jamaica Plain. Her Jewish identity and knowledge base has strengthened and deepened as she’s aged. Quoting from Pirkei Avot (the ‘“Ethics of Our Fathers”) is a relatively recent part of her repertoire.

Despite her substantial vision impairment, Eleanor continues to read as best she can and work with eye specialists to improve her capacity. And notwithstanding her significant hearing loss, there’s a new hearing aid in the works. Her gerontologist just labeled her “moderately fragile.” Life is still filled with friends old and new and family near and far. And she continues to compose clever poetry and songs for family occasions. Seriously.

We call our mother the wise old owl because she values listening over too much jabbering. Here is her favorite ditty that she taught to her first graders many years ago as a Boston school teacher:

“A wise old owl
Sat on an oak.
The more he saw, the less he spoke.
The less he spoke, the more he heard.
Why can’t I be like that wise old bird?”

My mother, Eleanor Kaplan, is indeed that wise old bird, still paying close attention, with a lot left to contribute to her adoring fan club. What’s more, she’s become our collective claim to fame.

101 is swiftly approaching; how lucky can one family be?

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