Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Ode to Mom

The best moms never stop being moms, no matter how crazy they drive you.

I’m 46 years old, with a wife of twenty years and two daughters, one 15, the other, 6. I’ve been a teacher for 14 years.

Still, my mom laments the fact I wear my hair long, constantly comments on my taste in music (which hasn’t changed a lot since I was a teenager) and feels the incessant need to offer life-advice as though I had just recently landed on this planet.

But you know what? I love her for it. I look forward to our pointless debates over issues which seem important at the time, revel in our clashes over personal values, and despite my advanced age, enjoy the rebelling to the point she gets upset (most recently, my somewhat belated decision to get a tattoo). You know why? Because no matter what our differences are, whether I'm right or she is, I know my mom cares about me.

I love her for all of that. I love her values, even though they aren’t mine. I love the fact that she (unconsciously?) allows me to actually feel rebellious, despite my middle age, which makes me feel young again. We argue about lots of stuff, though I doubt either of us really think we’ll convince the other they are wrong. It’s the conversation with Mom I truly love.

Mom may no longer be a toting parent I grew up with, but she’s so much more sounding board, my mentor, my moral compass, my friend. We agree on almost nothing, but I respect everything she says, simply because she’s my mom and because, everything I am, everything I think or believe, I owe to her.

Mother’s Day is coming up, and I’ll likely venture to my nearby Barnes & Noble to pick up a gift card to tuck into her Mother’s Day card. Is it a gift worthy of the attributes I’ve mentioned about my mom?

Of course not.

Who else but your mom will selflessly let you know how important you think you are?

She’s my mom. I owe her everything.

And, no matter what your age, not matter what your beliefs, you owe your mom everything, too.

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