Sunday, May 20, 2012

A Belated Note on Mothers' Day

It's been exactly one week since Mothers' Day, and since I only started this blog six days ago, I missed it. So a quick word of thanks to my mother:

My mother was a wonderful mom, a tradition she continues to this day. Looking back on my childhood, she gave me a lifelong love of the shore, exhibited endless patience with me when I was cranky and tired, invested time and energy into my weird interests, worked a job she hated at nights so that I'd always have a parent home with me and was the source of comfort I ran to when I had a nightmare.

But at the time, the thing I noticed most about her was the frequency with which she said "No". No, I could not skip my Girl Scout meeting. No, I could not play in the pool unsupervised. No, I could not watch The Simpsons (animated =/= kid-friendly, people). No, I could not watch tv at all before my homework was done.

The "No"s got even more frequent during my teen years. No, I could not wear makeup. No, I would not be attending an all-day concert in Jersey unsupervised. No to this, no to that, it was her favorite word, and she wielded it like a weapon.

To say the least, I was not her biggest fan whenever she pulled out her favorite weapon. I spent more hours than I care to remember bitching about her on the phone with my friends, probably at the same time she was on the phone to hers for the exact same reason.

I was a big fan of Gilmore Girls at the time, insanely jealous of Rory and Lorelai's relationship, wishing I had a cool mom who shared my CDs and clothes instead of a suburban mom who didn't want me out late on school nights.

The thing is, we have that relationship now. We trade dirty jokes, share each others' books, gossip, laugh, antagonize each other teasingly into doing various chores around the house. And the reason we can do that now, is because our relationship slowly morphed to friendship as I grew up. Maybe as a kid I would've had a cooler childhood with a more free-wheeling mom, but I doubt it would've given me half of what I learned from being told "No" by my stricter mother. And childhood ends. Adulthood is eternal. I'd rather have a mother as a kid and a friend as an adult than a friend as a kid and an obligation now, because in reality Rory would've wearied of having to be the center of her mother's social life and yearned to branch out in a way that was denied her as a kid. So thanks Mom, for not always being the mother I wanted but being exactly the mother I needed.

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