It’s often said that your mother is your first friend. She takes care of you, she loves you, she plays with you. She knows what you need and she provides that for you. She is who you rely on to give you a bath and kiss away your boo boos. She is your number one. But in time, as you gain your independence and make new friends, your mom may start to take a place more behind the scenes. She will always take care of you, but she will respect your need to bloom.
But after some time, and it may take many years, if you’re lucky she becomes your number once again. It may be when you miss her after you move into a dorm, or that first big fight as a newlywed, or as you lay in your bed post C-section and she helps you take care of your own sweet baby. You find that you still need your mom, no matter how old you are.
My mom is my very best friend. And I don’t say that just because you’re supposed to. She really is my best friend. I would forgo every other friendship in my life for her. We are far beyond close. We are truly the other half of each other’s heart and soul. Some may call our relationship unique, others a little crazy. I think that it is certainly rare, but I feel so incredibly fortunate to have it.
I am lucky in the sense that I am her only daughter. I don’t have to share her with a sister who may want the same things from her. We run to the grocery store together and sit at the salon at the same time. She is my concert-loving buddy. From New Kids on the Block to Barry Manilow, to Janet Jackson and Taylor Swift, we have sung and danced to them all. When I had my babies, she came to my house and laid in my bed with me and we gazed at our new perfect angels. She never leaves my side when I need her. No matter how tired she is or how much she has to get done, she makes me a priority.
My parents live less than a mile away from me. I am able to be at her house in fewer than five minutes. And I show up there pretty much every day. Whether it’s for coffee in the morning or to play dolls with her and my daughter in the afternoon, the close proximity is ideal. I am a stay-at-home mom, she is retired, so there is no reason that we can’t be together every day. And we are. I will call her at a moment’s notice to run to Target. We are always together. She’ll drop everything to come over if I need her, like the time my son had a terrible scooter accident and needed his Maurmi, her nickname, to take care of him because she is calmer and more gentle than me. Or when I locked myself in a bathroom while changing a lock and my newborn was on the floor by herself. She is my go-to gal.
When we went to Disney World a few years ago, I planned all of our outfits. Everything was coordinated from shirts to shoes. We matched perfectly. But we don’t do that just for special trips; my mom and I dress alike all of the time. Sometimes it is planned, sometimes we just show up looking like twins. It’s like we share a brain. We often finish each other’s sentences or say the same things at the same time. It’s sort of uncanny.
We act and think and sound alike, but we look no more like mother and daughter than two strangers on the street. She is petite with big beautiful eyes and a warm smile. I am curvier with a face like my father and his teeth to boot. As a child, I always wanted to look like her, to be like her. She was stylish and striking. With her flashy jumpsuits and fresh orange lipstick, she stood out in a crowd.
The older I get, the more I find myself wanting to be like her. Her kindness and genuine love for other people is admirable. I have always told her that she has such a positive impact on other people, but she never believes it. She recently had a birthday and had hundreds of Facebook wishes and words of thanks for the positive impact she has had on others’ lives. It was amazing to see. And inspiring — I tend to be a glass half empty kind of girl. I need to learn to fill my cup like hers.
As I see her as a grandmother, I am so incredibly grateful that my children have her. I was lucky that she was mine growing up, but they are getting an even more magical experience. Her house is like Disneyland, pancakes with sprinkles everyday, all kinds of toys and unlimited screen time. Who wouldn’t want to be there? But amid the fun, she is also passing down little nuggets for them to keep as they grow older. Like, “Remember, if you can’t do it in front of me, you shouldn’t be doing it.” Those are wise and impactful words. I hope they listen.
I have three sons that are the whipped cream on my sundaes. They make me whole. I have never felt so blessed as I was when they were born. Just when I thought that my family was complete, God had other plans and sent me just one more, a little girl. I was thrilled. As I looked into her beautiful brown eyes, I prayed that she and I would have the special bond that her grandmother and I share.
She is now almost five and I am thrilled to say that we are the best of friends. I am her confidant and her playmate and her biggest cheerleader. Just as her Maurmi is for me. The three of us have a special bond too. We all wear a sweet little shamrock necklace, the three leaves representing our three generations. It makes my heart happy.
I am beyond blessed to have been raised by a strong, loving and faithful woman. She knew when to be a parent, and did it well, but she always knew when I really just needed a friend. She was always there. Today, I still call her to yell when I am angry, cry when I am sad, and laugh when I am happy. And she undoubtedly will answer with the same comforting smile she’s always had.
Friends come and they go, but if you are lucky enough to have a mom who loves and supports you, your blessings are immeasurable. Thank her, tell her you love her and let her know what she means to you. Tomorrow is never promised; be glad you’ve got your mom today.