Yesterday was Mother’s Day. Like the good daughter that I am, I sent my mom
a million 100 little K-Cups for her Keurig coffee maker. I even made sure the coffee came from fair trade companies. But enough about how awesome I am; there are more pressing matters at hand.
My mom is awesome. My awesomeness is due, in part, because she raised me. But again, this post isn’t about how awesome I am; it’s about how awesome my mom is. I am so grateful to her for everything she sacrificed for me. There were (and still are) always things she says she wished she could have given me. Had she been able to, she would have paid for my college, or given me money while I was in school so I didn’t have to have a job(s), or numerous other things that would have, no doubt, made my life easier. But I do not begrudge her inability to do these things for me; after all, what kind of kid would I be if I were pissed off that my mom didn’t do those things? She couldn’t afford them.
There were many things we couldn’t afford while I was growing up, but it’s not like I was really aware of them. We never went hungry, even when my mom was supporting two children on minimum wage; I still have absolutely no idea how she pulled that off. We always had Christmas presents and birthday presents and clothes and school supplies. We just did. She made it so.
My mom has also always been my biggest cheerleader. I mean, that’s who moms are supposed to be, right? She never told me my love of philosophy was silly, or that I should study something that would be “useful.” She believed that following what I loved mattered. She was also my earliest teacher. My mom has a love of knowledge, and is incredibly bright. Growing up, she made sure I paid attention to the news, to political events, to the world around me, to my grammar. Oh yeah, she paid very close attention to my grammar. I remember being very young and trying to ask her a question. She refused to answer my question until I’d structured the query in the proper form. Such a thing was maddening to my roughly 4-year-old self, but damn it, I learned how to speak properly.
My mom is also funny. I don’t know if she thinks of herself that way. She’s not funny in the sense that she loves to tell jokes, but there’s just something entertaining about her. She appreciates humor. I remember doing my best to make her laugh until she peed her pants. Oh yeah. That happened.
She let me be my own person. She let me listen to whatever music I wanted to, she let me watch horror movies, she let me watch MTV, she only worried a little when I wanted to wear black nail polish, and she complimented my combat boots. She got me a lab coat for career day, and advised me as to where I should add more red nail polish to the coat because I wanted to be a mortician with a bloody lab coat. (Why a mortician would wear a lab coat is beyond me; maybe I wanted to be a mortician/medical examiner. I’ve no idea. I was 13.)
I don’t have children. At this point, I doubt I will. I’ve never had strong maternal urges. In part, that may be because while my childhood was pretty happy, it was still fraught with the problems that children of divorce have. But were I ever to have kids, I can only hope my children would hold me in the esteem I hold my mom.
So, thanks, Mama. I love you. Even though, to your chagrin, you raised a super super liberal daughter, I think you did all right.
Note: this post was inspired, in part, by a flash of a memory I had. Whenever Devon and I were screwing around, which usually meant participating in some activity destined to bring one or both of us physical anguish, you’d shout over the melee, “Someone’s gonna get hurt!” and then let us continue our activities. This, of course, was long after Devon no longer wanted to actually harm his little sister, but instead wanted to kill me via tickling. I can hear the tone and volume of your voice perfectly, and I laugh every time I think of it.