My mom and I have had a very serious connection throughout my whole life. It is very rare that I find people who understand me and my passions to such a sovereign parallel, but this woman whom I call mom, does. We have our own funny words, our own fun sayings, nicknames, and songs. We even have the same freckle above our lip in the same spot, as well as matching “cufflink” freckles on the outsides of our wrists. There’s just something about my mom that I think I see, and no one else does. It’s special, and I love special.
She described me as her little pal, when I was a baby. I was her first born, and I went everywhere with her. My father traveled most of my toddlerhood for business so while he was gone, my mom and I were inseparable. Never once throughout my childhood did I feel smothered or drowned by her. She let me explore my creativity, dress myself (Jelly sandals with socks in the wintertime), and be my own person. She had and still has this innate sense of classic, social and parental intellect which I believe she was just born with. She never strived for perfection, she still is not total perfection, but to me she is her own kind of perfection. To me, my mom represents true beauty, soul, and love.
My mom and I kind of have had similar journeys too. While there are some key differences, we both recognize that we have struggled, we have overcome, we have won and we have lost. Throughout these wins and losses, we both are able to lend an ear, a voice, a piece of advice.
My mom is one of my best friends. She never tried to be my best friend, she just became it. There’s something very appealing about someone who doesn’t try, it makes you want to know them. I know a lot about my mom- but not everything. I don’t pry information out of her, and she doesn’t pry information out of me. We share. It just works better that way.
There’s this stigma about “becoming your parents”. People tend to equate getting older, particular flaws, jowl lines, personal life choices, or personality traits with becoming just like your mom or your dad. I don’t necessarily think that it’s a bad thing, unless they actually did a bad thing. (Then, I get it.)
When you ask a young child what they want to be when they grow up, some of them say “I want to be like my mommy” or “I want to be like my daddy”. Although it seems simple, and kind of the obvious choice of a 5 year old who has a good relationship with their parents, I think it is quite admirable. When you become a parent you make this little person. This little person relies on you for nourishment, for comfort, for guidance and direction. If you do a good job at it, if you fully embrace your new role as a parent, then you’ve done your job. These little people look up to you, they want to be you. How much better can that get?
I don’t exactly remember what I said I wanted to be when I was older, but I would imagine I probably said something along the lines of an actress, or a singer, or a teacher. (Those were, and partly still are my greatest aspirations). I maybe said “like my mommy” but I honestly don’t remember.
Our relationship hasn’t been sunshine and rainbows all the time. I can admit that I tend to take my anger out on her sometimes because she is always there for me, and that isn’t ok. We have yelled and screamed, cried and laughed, and even given the silent treatment. It can be a rollercoaster of emotions, but I’m grateful that she’s always been there on that ride with me. Particularly, our favorite ride from my childhood- the teacup ride at Disney World.
I now proclaim that I want to be like my mom when I grow up. There are many other things I want to be too, but being like my mom is probably at the top of my list, and here’s why:
My mom gives more than she receives. She has given her life to my father, my brother and me. She has given us all of her. She has made us who we are today, and she is damn proud. (Thanks Mom!)
My mom lets us be. She lets us do what we want, how we want, with steady guidance. She has been there, she has done it.
My mom is human. She makes mistakes and she admits and recognizes her mistakes. She is honest.
My mom deserves the world but doesn’t expect. She ALWAYS tells me to never expect anything from anyone or anywhere. People are not capable of living up to your own personal expectations, so why place such significance on it?
My mom recognizes true beauty from the inside. She knows a pretty face when she sees one, but is very grateful of beautiful minds, of vivacious spirits, and of genuine hearts.
I want to be my mom not because she is my mom. I want to be my mom because of who she is. I often think if I didn’t know my mom as mom, and just as her, if I would feel the same way. Would I admire her if I was her friend, or her colleague or acquaintance?
Yeah. I would. That’s how I know the true validity of my mom’s presence. I would be an entirely different person if not for her. I probably wouldn’t even like drinking vanilla milkshakes as much! –We think I like them as much as I do, because she craved them a lot while pregnant with me.
I write this because I recognize the meaning of a powerful role model. I’m not writing this just to tell you all how amazing of a mom I have (even though I do). I want people to explore their thoughts, their feelings and how they feel about others. It’s OK to not want to be like your parents, and I’m not saying that everyone should. My mom happens to be that particular person that I want to emulate, and for that I am eternally grateful. I don’t feel responsible to be a carbon copy of her, because we are different people. I just hope that I am able to spread the same amount of joy, beauty, compassion and comfort that she has, still and always will.
I love you mom.