“Mothers and their children are in a category all their own. There’s no bond so strong in the entire world. No love so instantaneous and forgiving.” — Gail Tsukiyama
The relationship between mother and daughter is a complicated one, defined by lifelong adoration and momentary contempt.
We go from revering our mothers, refusing to leave their side, to contesting their very existence, resenting their advice and warnings. We then go from missing them, beginning to understand them and empathizing with them, to finally revering them again, longing for their advice and wisdom.
As a kid, many people told me I would spend my adolescence hating my mom, that the inevitable day would come when I’d loathe her very existence.
That day did come and lasted for a few rough years, until college, when missing her brought on stifled feelings, along with a new respect and admiration for a person I had previously longed to get away from.
I finally understood why she nagged me all those times to bring an umbrella and to tie my shoes. I understood why she questioned me about my homework and made me go to all those stupid summer camp programs.
I understood why she never let me have boys in my room or take trips with my friends to Punta Cana… because she loved me.
As we leave the nest, happily thinking we’re flying on to better things, we cling on to anyone who is remotely kind, realizing that the love of a mother is rare and wonderful.
There are not many people out there willing to take you in, flaws and all, and love you with no qualms. There is nothing out there that is going to provide that unconditional, non-judgmental type of love.
Throughout failed relationships, romantic and platonic, I’ve come to realize that people are not easily reliable in this world. Friends come and go, no matter how strong the bond may be. Men most certainly don’t love you the way they say they do and no one can actually keep a secret.
While friendships are wonderful and necessary, the only stable and consistent love you will ever have in this world is from your mother. She is the only one who will always be there in the middle of the night ready to answer your call. She’s the only one who actually cares to hear about every moment of your day.
She’s the one who will pick restaurants, keeping in mind that you don’t like sushi. She is the only one who actually listens when you talk and doesn’t mind spending four hours watching you try on jeans.
People also told me, throughout my days of contempt and misguided anger, that I would one day be great friends with my mother. One day, we would share drinks and stories like those mother-daughter scenes in every Diane Keaton film.
I told them they were delusional, and that my relationship was different than those storybook fairytales.
However, age brought wisdom and wisdom brought appreciation. That appreciation grew into respect, which blossomed into friendship. As the years passed and those strong friendships I thought would sustain some type of familial archetype began to disintegrate, I realized a pivotal truth in my life: My mother has always been and always will be my best friend.
She’s the first one you call with good news.
She’s the first one you call with bad news.
She’s the only person you can actually shop with.
She will always make the trip to visit you, no matter how far away you are.
She will never forget your birthday, and she’ll be the first to sing to you when the clock strikes midnight.
She will be honest when something doesn’t look good on you.
She will tell you when you’re being a brat.
She will listen to your dramatic stories and your stories with no end.
She won’t judge you when you wear the same outfit three days in a row.
She’s always got good advice, even if it’s not what you want to hear.
She always has your best interest at heart.
She’d never screw you over for a man because you’re the most important person in her life.
She pays your cell phone bill, even though you have overage charges every month.
She knows what kind of foods you like (and don’t like).
She will never stay mad at you or hold a grudge.
She will buy you something spontaneously just because she knows you’ll like it.
She will tell you if you’re getting fat, but will say you look beautiful no matter what your weight.
She will watch movies with you even if she doesn’t like the preview and ends up falling asleep.
She’s the only person you can count on to text you every day.
She will be on call when you get too hammered to find a way home.
She’s the one you can brag to about your accomplishments and express shame to for your mistakes, without fearing judgment.
She will drop everything to be at your beck and call when you’re sick, whether it’s a common cold or the flu.
She’ll support your interests and encourage you to stay true to your passions.
She’s the one who knows when something is wrong, no matter how many times you tell her, “Nothing!”
She’s the only person who knows your annoying habits and still loves you for them.
She never fails to tell you she loves you at least once a day.
She’s the one who bitches out your cheating boyfriend when you’re not strong enough to do it yourself.
She’s the one who sees there’s only one cookie left for the two of you and suddenly says she’s too full.
She will go above and beyond, through the toughest of conditions, just to make sure you’re happy.
She’s the one who’s standing beside you, when everyone else has walked away.