When I was little I spent many a night alone with my mom. My parents had me young and my dad was still in college, working full time during the day and then spending his evenings stationed in a classroom while some overly winded school professor droned on about economics and business math. My mom and I would spend our nights doing the normal things kids and moms do and although I was young I have very distinct memories of pretending to be her hair stylist, using a pencil as a roller to give my mom a perm and reading my favorite book, The Monster at the End of This Book.
We lived in a small house over on Trowbridge, so old that it’s no longer even standing. On Saturday mornings I would wake up at the crack of dawn, eager to watch cartoons and eat left over popcorn from the night before. (Gross- I know) My imagination at that time in my life and I guess still, was overly active and I was beyond convinced that the house was haunted. Images of witches and men with big bags full of kids bothered me regularly and I was certain that it was a matter of time before they came after me. As any young kid would do, I often found solace and safety in the bed of my parents as they reassured me that no such characters existed and then told me to go back to bed.
When I was 4 or 5 we moved out of the house on Trowbridge and into a house in a caul-de-sac. The neighborhood was filled with kids around my age and although I would spend my time running around and playing outside, it was also then that I realized how awful and mean little girls could be. Like before I would run to my mom for solace and comfort but this time the haunted witches were actually little girls with words like knives, little girls who would say the most horrible of things one day and the next ring the door bell asking me to come out and play. My mom would tell me not to worry, that the other kids were jealous and I would think to myself that she was just saying that to make me feel better.
As I got older and we moved in to the house my parents live in now life happened and it happened quickly. I went to high school, made the dance team, failed gym class, graduated high school, moved out for college, moved back in when I decided college wasn’t the path I wanted to go, moved out into my own apt, moved back in to my parents more than once and so on. I moved to New Orleans and fell in love. I got pregnant and moved to California. I moved back from California and gave birth to my own daughter, a spunky, fiery pigtailed little girl with sparkling blue eyes and an enormous personality. I got married and started my life with my husband and child in a home of our own.
A few days ago I came across an article in which someone proposed that all mothers want to be a better mom than theirs was. This statement was justified by a paragraph about how even if we think our mother is amazing, we notice mistakes they made with us and do our best not to repeat the same with our children. I had to laugh when I read this because for me it couldn’t be further from the truth. I strive to be everything to my daughter that my mom is to me; a woman of strength, intelligence, courage and independence yet a vulnerability that allows her to love those closest to her with open arms and a non judgmental attitude. Someone who always takes care of the needs of others before herself and still manages to do it with the most beautiful smile in the world. A woman who promised to support her children in every possible way she could even if she didn’t agree with us and after all these years has never once failed us.
I have been unusually sentimental lately. Maybe it has to do with the fact that we lost an old friend of our family unexpectedly at the age of 25. Maybe it’s that I am approaching thirty in a matter of days and am suddenly realizing how fast life goes or maybe it’s just that sentimental is something I have become without noticing, I don’t know.
I just think that as my moms birthday arrives tomorrow its time to tell her thank you.
Happy Birthday Mom- we love you!