(Had to sneak one in for Mother's Day while in the Mother Land)
I remember shopping for a Mother’s Day card last year with my friend at Target. While he and the rest of America scrambled for the sweetest Hallmark greeting, I stayed back and let them wrestle each other feeling a slight tinge of envy. I wanted a mom who took care of me when I was sick, who made me home cooked meals, who gave me money to buy school supplies - you know a mom who acted LIKE A MOM.
My friend ended up with a card that played New Kids on the Block’s “Hangin Tough,” when you opened it, which I found very appropriate for his mom. She was amazing, and when the going got tough – the tough got Frances. Meanwhile, I sorted through card after card after card trying to find the perfect one. It was between, “Mom, Can’t live with you – can’t shoot you,” and, “Mom, Even though you were never there for me growing up, your boyfriends came first, and we got into a fist fight – you’re still my mom so I guess I love you anyway.”
I ended up with the most generic card they had, short and simple – “Happy Mother’s Day.” That’s it. Because in reality, our relationship had been anything but simple.
I could write an epic novel about all the arguments we had but let's just say we got into a fist fight once, and another time I didn't talk to her for a year although we lived in the same apartment. But that was then.
This is now.
I started this post exactly a year ago and it has remained in my drafts box ever since, unfinished. But that was before we started to get along. Back before she would email me pictures of her latest celebrity crush (The most recent one is Jake Pavelco of The Bachelor), and before I would call her on my lunch break just because I was bored. Before I would visit her on the weekends and I finally felt comfortable drinking alcohol in front of her lol. Before she would leave me Facebook messages about how proud she is of me, and before I would tell her to text me when she got home so I knew she made it there safely. And before she was my rock during probably the most difficult time in my entire life.
Needless to say, a lot has changed.
It’s too late to rewind the hands of time and make up for years lost. But it’s never too late to be the person you’ve always wanted to be, to be the mother you never had, or the daughter you always wanted. I think about the relationship my mom and me had when I was growing up, and even though it was dysfunctional, it was better than the relationship we didn’t have. I have friends who barely talk to their moms, or can’t remember the last time they told them, “I love you.” My mom on the other hand tells me she loves me and then follows it up with a peace sign, a head nod, a "Worrrrrd," and a skee skirt from her car as she peels out in front of my house. *SMH*
With all the craziness in the days leading up to my trip to the Philippines I forgot to buy a mother’s day card this year, but if I did, it would most likely have said:
“Happy Mother’s Day … to my very best friend.”
Short and simple - That’s it. Although in case you couldn’t tell, our relationship is anything but simple.
Happy Mother’s Day to all those who inspire me to be a better woman, all those who came before you, and especially to those who have to play the role of both mommy and daddy so that their little girl/boy will never have to do the same.