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It's late on Mother's Day, 2011, and I'm thousands of miles from my momma. Thousands of miles from the woman who raised the most adorable Cave Baby in the history of time.
Being away from my Den Momma stinks for several reasons.
First, I miss the mom hugs. She makes a sound much like that of the horn of a diesel truck. “Uuuuhhk!”
Second, I miss forcing her to buy herself things. She deserves a million cardigans from Nordstrom and billions of new golf shoes, but I'm suspicious she'd forego all that to pay for a weekend trip home for me, my husband, and my ninety-five-pound, four-legged child.
Third – and most important – I really, really like my mom. Of course I LOVE her, but I also fundamentally like her. I like her as a person, as a mother, as a teacher, as a wife to my dad, as an athlete (a golfer, and a CrossFitter), and as an all-around wonderful example of true Womanhood.
My mom has been through a lot due to the adventurous – and marginally idiotic – tendencies of me and my Cave Sister. We forced her to be the Camerawoman for original shows like The Mighty Morphin' Coward Rangers. We tap danced on the hood of the car. We ventured into black nail polish and hair dye, belly chains, house parties, over-plucked eyebrows, temper tantrums, Dr. Seuss hats, mall loitering, car wrecking and the like. We played sports, made the honor roll, and won spelling bees.
Then we graduated fifth grade and the fun really began.
I kid. But I truly can't imagine what she must have been thinking as she observed these crazy antics. If she wanted to throw up her hands in exasperation, I never knew it. If she wanted to laugh at me, she never did (unless I wanted her to). She was tender when I needed it and harsh when I needed it more. I was never made to feel guilty or inadequate. I was totally and completely loved, utterly supported and, most importantly, my accomplishments were celebrated.
Mom cheered me on in everything I wanted to try, no matter how brief the foray. Theatre for Young America (I make a better prop than actress). Gymnastics. Basketball. Field Hockey. Swimming. Soccer. Yearbook. Tap. Ballet. Sorority. Study abroad. Piano. Art lessons. She also supported me through broken bones, broken hearts, league championships, giving up too early, persisting too long, teenage tantrums, and everything a person who thinks she knows Everything puts her parents through.
She also supported me when I began dating a military man, and was happy for me when I moved to New Jersey to start my life with him. She supports me in my nutritional endeavors and my writing dreams. She is the best. mom. ever.
I assume it's natural to torture one's parents from the age of 12 to about 25. Then, after millions of hateful words and back-talk, you realize how grateful you are and that you could never in a million years make up for the hand wringing, wallet emptying and curfew-breaking worry you caused. All you can say is…thank you, mom. You did a really, really great job.
Mom, I love you with all my heart. I'm proud that you're my mother and honored that you're my friend. Happy Mother's Day!
(A few photos of the two most adorable, loved and lucky Cave Kids in the world. Me and my little sis.)
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