My mother, my friend

I don’t ever remember a time when I didn’t get along with my mom. Even throughout my teenage (read: difficult) years, we never had the conflicts I hear occur between most mothers and daughters. We showed each other love and respect, and even as a teen I considered her one of my good friends.

My favorite memories are from the years around her divorce: shopping at the mall, reading our books as we ate our cinnamon rolls from Cinnabon. Our love of reading and sweetness bonded us.

The hardest part about leaving home to go to college, was leaving her. We both bawled when it came time for her to leave on move-in day. I made a lot of weekend trips home that year. Graduating from college was a huge accomplishment, and I knew that I was making her proud.

When I found out I was pregnant, I hesitated before calling to tell her. I was unwed, and unsure of her reaction. I didn’t want to disappoint her. I shouldn’t have been shocked to hear her the excitement in her voice.

She doesn’t know this: I have spent every May over the past decade and a half trying to write something for her. Some years it’s a letter, sometimes a poem, this year it’s a blog post. And every year goes by without me finding the words I want to say.

Everything that comes to mind sounds so cliched, so overdone.

I learned how to be a mom from watching her.

She’s been there for me, through everything.

She was always my biggest cheerleader.

She inspires me.

It’s all true, but those words do not feel like mine.

When she found my blog, she was excited for me. She has always encouraged my writing, and she knew that was what this was all about. She knew that I’m not doing it for the page views or the comments or the advertising. She knew that I’m doing it for the words. To get my words out.

But when it comes to her, my words fail me.

Mom, I love you. Forever. Always. I love you as a mother, and as a grandmother to my son. I love you as my friend, my mentor, my confidant, my hero and my cheerleader. I love you as you review the stock in your store for items you think your grandson would love. I love you as the smell of cinnamon reminds me of you.  I love you as the tears are rolling down your cheeks as you read this. I love you as I know you. The perfect mother for me.

Now go blow your nose, dry your eyes, and I’ll try not to be so mushy when I call you later.

Happy Mother’s Day.

San Francisco, 1990*


*I didn’t want to ruin a perfectly early ’90s picture by covering up my mom’s super awesome sunglasses, but I have not discussed the sharing of faces with any of the people shown in this photo. And two of them read this blog. Yes, that one on the left is me.

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2 comments on “My mother, my friend”

  1. Kimberly

    The last line is the best.
    I always thought it was lame when my mom cries after I would give her a macaroni artwork with the words I love you scribbled on it….now I get it.
    Moms rock.
    Happy mothers day!

  2. Pingback: Blog Critique: Unintentionally Brilliant - Momcomm

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