Why even at 30, I still need my momOh okay, 31. But who's counting?
My relationship with my mom has always been a cherished one. While it hasn't always been an easy one (ie: the teenage years) I hold her in the highest regard (and probably did then too but was too stubborn to admit it).
Growing up she often told me stories about her own mom - who died of cancer in her early 50s, just a bit shy of my mom finding out she was pregnant with my sister. Of course, then, I never knew my grandmother. She never met a single grandchild even after having 10 children of her own. It wasn't until I was in college that the I truly recognized what a void her absence must have been in my mom's life. Coincidentally, that is about the time that my mom became more of a friend - someone I needed and turned to rather than rebelled against as in years before.
Now, with every milestone in my life, I am reminded even more how difficult it must have been to experience adulthood without a mother. Our frequent conversations (often 5+ a day!) make me wonder who she turned to...who answered her silly questions or laughed at her kids off-the-cuff remarks?
So today, on her birthday, I wanted to let her know just how important she is to me...
- She is my second brain - whenever I'm in doubt about ANYTHING, she is the first person I call. What to make for dinner? Which shoe to wear with an outfit? What to set the oven on for baked potatoes? Call mom. My husband laughs at me when I ask him a question first. He says "Just call your mommy, you know whatever she says will be what you do anyway". And he's usually right :)
- She talks me off the ledge - when my kids are misbehaving or I've gotten myself into a tizzy with my seemingly unending list of things to do, I can always count on her to calm me down. She'll tell me to pour a glass of wine and just breathe. Then she'll tell me "now you know why I used to lock myself in my bedroom when you guys were little".
- She is my biggest fan - While she often finds it hard to put her emotions into words (something I must have inherited from my dad), she sends me cards every now and then "just because" and lets me know in all kinds of ways how proud she is of me. I remember getting upset one time as a tween when I heard her bragging about my sister..."My absolutely gorgeous daughter" and I knew she was talking about Lauren. Let's face it, my sis is beautiful (and in comparison to the awkward stage I was in at the time, hands down, she won). Of course I know my mom thinks I'm beautiful. But as an adult, I'm just as content knowing that she admires my ability to write or thinks I am a wonderful mom.
- As a shopping buddy - without a doubt, there is nobody I'd rather spend the day shopping with than my mom. She can sniff out deals with the best of them and usually finds them for someone other than herself. And when that happens? She may even say "well I found this, so I'll buy it for you". Who am I to stop her from being so generous? ;)
- She reminds me of all the good in the world - okay, actually that's not entirely true. In fact, with us much as she watches Dateline and 20/20, the exact opposite is true. She is not a cynic per say, just...careful. "Open the door with your sleeve and for God's sake don't touch the hotel remote controls" "Did you see that story about the new way people are hacking credit card numbers?" "I heard that airlines lose 30% more baggage in the month of December" Gee, thanks mom, for turning me into a paranoid germophobe!
- She ADORES her grandchildren - my mom would give just about anyone the food off her plate and the shirt off her back, but her grandkids? She takes it to the extreme. I've never been bothered by her spoiling my kids. In some ways I feel as though she's making up for what she wishes/knows her mom could/would have done for us. My kids know that their nana is an extension of the love I have for them. They LOVE spending time with her, always have. She is a fun-loving spirit who is always on the go and my kids think she is pretty much the coolest thing ever.
- She gets me through the tough times - when I miscarried last year, my mom hopped on a plane and flew down here to hold my hand. When I had Aiden and she was hundreds of miles away in Florida, she cried with me, then told me it was going to be okay. When I get upset about something silly, she is the first to say "snap out of it" or "c'est la vie". She reminds me what's important and is there for me when it is.
As you can see, my mom and I are extremely close. I'll never know just how much not having a mom around as an adult impacted her - but I know that even with that being the case, she turned out to be an amazing mother herself.
Thank you mom ~ Happy birthday ~ and I love you!