In the course of an early adulthood life, we go through this strange rollercoaster relationship with our mother. As babies, we rely on her for safety, nourishment, and survival. As toddlers, we fight back as often as possible to learn the dos and don’ts of life. As preteens, we pull in closer to get through the tricky stage of puberty and our socio-emotional development. As teenagers, again, we rebel to test the waters of independence. But even after so much time pushing away and pulling back, we inevitably reel in closer than ever.
Unfortunately, before we can have a Rory and Lorelai Gilmore relationship with our mother, we have to go through the rough patches. In adolescence, we resent, ignore, defy, and do everything we can to prove we don’t need her. Meanwhile, she tries to be the best possible parent to someone that thinks she is the worst possible parent. A near hopeless task and yet she tries anyway. She fights through all the tears, deceit, and lies. She is the epitome of unconditional love. And yet, as angsty teenagers, we exist solely in our own realm. Never stopping to look at the big picture and realize just how remarkable our mother is.
That is until we hit our 20s. College throws us into this boiling pot of responsibilities, anxiety, and freedom. Even after years of fighting for it, ironically, freedom has never been so terrifying. This is the time in our lives when we learn how long we can tread water for without totally drowning. Strangely enough, after two decades of maturation, we are suddenly back to being infants. Lost, confused, ignorant, and needy. Our mother always knows how to save the day. The distance from home is what led us to finally recognize just how incredible mom really is and also that we can’t do this all alone. Thankfully, our mother was able to overcome past wounds and is waiting, ready and eager to help.
“What is a FAFSA?”
“How do I use fabric softener?”
“How long can asparagus stay in the fridge until I die from eating it?”
“What is Acetaminophen?”
“What’s my social security number?”
“Can’t you just call and pretend to be me? Please?”
That cliche saying about seeing light through the darkness is true. We start to look back at everything our mother has done for us and begin to feel a sense of utter appreciation and guilt. How she dealt with our hormones and irrationality for so long is a true mystery of life. Maybe it was the months of therapy or her own empathy as a female, but either way, the woman is a saint. John Mayer wrote the following: “Girls become lovers who turn into mothers; So mothers be good to your daughters too.” And honestly, I think he should have been singing daughters be good to your mothers because she will save your ass one day.