One of my earliest blog posts (back in February 2005) was about my mom. I know that most of the people who read my blog now did not read my blog back then, as evidenced in the lack of comments I received :) I am sort of re-publishing the post, though it has been edited and lengthened (hence the proper use of capital letters) because I have just submitted it to an author who is publishing short stories on mother-daughter relationships. I would not consider it my best work, but, if it is chosen for the book, it will be edited and condensed to death anyhow. It is entirely true and I hope that it captures the way I feel about the most important woman in my life. Mom, this one's for you.
Every Tuesday morning, at 7:00am, my mom and I sit and chat over coffee. Sometimes we eat breakfast while chatting, sometimes I’ll whip up a batch of my mean tasting fruit smoothies, but I always, always make sure that The Wiggles are on TV so that my 19 month old son is gloriously entertained for 30 minutes while Mom and I relax and unwind, sharing about how the past 7 days have been. Its unfortunate, however, that my mom isn’t able to compliment me on my fruit smoothies. I am unable to offer her another cup of coffee. She is unable to watch my son dance to the music, but if I hand him the telephone, she can hear him babble away. My mom and I live in 2 different countries.
Staying connected with our weekly phone chats is so very important to us. Of course, there are emails flying back and forth between us during the week and small packages that arrive occasionally in the mail, but because we share such a close relationship, we both need to have that special weekly coffee date to look forward to.
My mom and I haven’t always been this close, though our personalities have always been quite similar. We are both quiet and observant with a weakness for chocolate and for caring too much of what others think of us. There is an unspoken agreement between us that the most important part of every shopping trip is lunch time and we both love to watch people, wondering out loud what they might be saying or thinking.
I understand that the friendship we have is rare, and I honestly can’t explain how we’ve remained so close. I do recall, however, a specific incident that occurred when I was 13 years old. It impacted me greatly and caused me to view my mom in a new light.
The principal of my school called my mom one evening to inform her that I had been caught smoking marijuana on school property. I’ll never forget the calm way in which she received the news. I was expecting the same sort of treatment my friends got from their parents: yelling, threatening and grounding. Instead, my mom told me that she wanted to take me out for dinner, just the two of us. As we were sitting there, eating, I was inwardly cringing, waiting for the gavel to fall. I thought that my punishment was going to be something so awful that she had to tell me in public so that I wouldn’t make a huge scene.
Looking back, I know that I was punished in some way, but I can’t even remember what that punishment was. All I can remember is the gentle, loving way my mom questioned me that evening, wondering why I had done what I did and whether or not I was planning on making more bad decisions so early in life. I was able to be completely vulnerable with her and I opened up and shared with her the pressure I felt to be cool and fit in and all that goes on in a 13 year old’s world.
Ever since then, though I can’t say I made only good decisions after that, I can say that I have continually been able to be just as open and honest with my mom as I was on that day. After every date or party in high school, I’d come home, sit on the side of her bed and tell her all about it. She has been more than just a Mother and a friend to me. She has been my spiritual advisor, my sounding board, my prayer warrior, and my mentor. My mom is the sweetest, most beautiful person I know and no amount of miles could ever change the closeness of our hearts.