I talk a lot about my mom.
Seriously. I’ll do it wherever! First dates. At parties. At the grocery store when the cashier asks if I have any fun weekend plans (“A movie with my mom! We go to this fun theater that serves wine and full on meals. And has couches. So fun!”).
It’s just so easy. It’s so easy to gush when you’ve got a mom like I do.
Basically, she’s the Lorelai everyone wanted. But better. Because, honestly? Lorelai is kind of terrible sometimes. Don’t get me wrong, I love GG from the bottom of my heart, but it’s true. My mom is like you took all the Cool Mom aspects of Lorelai but put them in the most selfless, understanding, empathic human.
I grew up assuming everyone got along with their parents. Sure, I went through the teenage-piece-of-shit phase. I yelled and cried and made puberty super fun for everyone involved. In fact, I’m still very emotionally needy and exhausting! The first six months of my life I cried nonstop from colic. Or as I call it, a precursor of things to come.
I was best friends with both of my parents. I thought that was the norm.
I told them about boys and my dreams. During dinner, we discussed our emotions and books, whatever thing had caught our attention. As a professor in and outside of the classroom, my dad talked about psychology and interesting studies. They took me to an open mic night in elementary school where I read a poem that was LITERALLY about the color lavender. That was it. Just a poem about light purple. And still, they beamed and applauded. They supported my dreams, no matter how lofty or unrealistic.
I always felt lucky to have them. I always knew I had something special. But in adulthood, I’ve come to realize just how lucky I was.
After my dad passed when I was 16, my mom and I grew even closer. It was just us, you know? Now we really were Lorelai and Rory, except I was fucking up in school and depressed and she was grieving her dead husband. A very, very dark Lorelai and Rory. But still, we found our moments of humor and light. We found survival in one another and laughed at things we shouldn’t have.
When my first boyfriend abruptly broke up with me after prom, my mom let me stay home from school and cuddle up to her while we watched Nora Ephron films. Later, she surprised me with an impromptu trip to Los Angeles and we ended up in the audience for The Ellen Degeneres Show. We went night swimming in our hotel’s pool and my mom told me about boyfriends she had before my dad.
She always went above and beyond. And she did so in ways she didn’t have to. She was already a good mom. She hit all the markers. And still, she found ways to be more. She was my best friend. My confidante. And funny, there’s this misconception that if you are friends with your children, you aren’t parenting them. Did I misbehave? Well, yeah. Like any child/teenager/human might. But not wildly. Not in any rebellious way. Because I didn’t want to sneak off or lie to her. That felt like such a betrayal to, yes, my mother, but also to my BFF.
I didn’t keep secrets. Even when she didn’t want to hear things (I’m assuming no parent loves hearing their child just had sex for the first time), I immediately told her. Because that’s just what you do. You tell your best friend everything.
Sometimes I have panic attacks when I remember my mom is mortal. Losing one parent already felt, and occasionally still does, like trying to doggy paddle my way out of a tsunami. I get morbid and remember, one day, I’ll lose her. And the very thought reduces me to a puddle of loud, obnoxious tears.
To love someone so much is an amazing thing.
It’s a gift that I’ve been given and I don’t want it to ever go unnoticed. The person who gave me life continues to give it to me. And I don’t know how to write that as beautifully as I should. I don’t know how to explain how wonderful this woman is. I don’t know if I ever will.
But I’ll try. I’ll always try.
I love you, Mom. Thank you for never giving up on me. For fostering my creativity, for indulging in my humor, for listening to everything. I don’t know what I did to deserve you, but I’ll never take it for granted.