Emma Off The Record: Mama Knows Best

Last week I spoke about the therapeutic nature of friendship, but this week is all about family. Aside from sharing DNA, these are the individuals in our lives who have the unique ability to sniff out every time something’s up through a nuanced shift in tone or mood. My mother just so happens to be an expert in this field. For better or for worse, my mom is essentially a mind-reader who always knows when something’s been bothering me or stressing me out. 

Since we now live on opposite coasts, most of our conversations take place over FaceTime. I call her at least a few times a week to check in with the rest of the family, and of course, to rant a bit. I am the kind of person who wears my heart on my sleeve so for the most part, my mom can instantly tell when something’s on my mind, but sometimes I try to bury my feelings when I’m not in the mood to discuss the thing that’s been rubbing me the wrong way. And yet, the tea is eventually spilled because—let’s face it—I am not very good at hiding my emotions. 

Photo Credit: Emma Kopelowicz

A little bit ago I was having a particularly rough week, and I required some extra phone time with my mom. There were lots of little stressors clogging my brain and we talked through every single one of them. A series of hour and a half phone calls over the course of three days later, I felt so much better. And the kicker is, my mom decided (after about 0.1 seconds of convincing) to come visit me. The timing could not have been better since I was coming up from a difficult week and could really use some quality mom-n-daughter bonding time. 

When she first got in, we established that this weekend would be dedicated to three of my favorite de-stressing activities: eating good food, shopping, and exploring cute neighborhoods. With my schedule cleared and my work done, I was fully committed to mini-vacation mode.

Photo Credit: Emma Kopelowicz

Photo Credit: Emma Kopelowicz

We ate a series of fantastic meals including great Greek food in the South End, lovely seafood in the North End, and a series of pit stops at little cafes in various parts of the city. Over the course of the weekend, we dined on lemony, olive oil-soaked octopus, phyllo-wrapped feta drizzled with honey and sprinkled with sesame seeds, lobster rolls piled high with juicy, butter-covered lobster, sweet and spicy ginger morning buns, and fantastic brioche French toast topped with cinnamon apple compote. 

Photo Credit: Emma Kopelowicz

We also dedicated some time to visit a place I’ve always wanted to visit but never got around to, a.k.a. the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. A true oasis just outside of Fenway, the place is a treasure box curated by the eccentric Mrs. Gardner herself back in the early 20th century. Fine objects and art pieces filled every nook and cranny of this house-turned-museum, which made for a dazzling yet slightly overwhelming experience. An early Raphael could be placed casually next to a set of rare, antique Chinese vases and it was no big deal. Absurdity aside, Gardner had fine taste and her museum definitely flaunts her quirky character more than a hundred years later. We spent over 3 hours exploring all three stories plus the greenhouse full of Seussical-esque flora imported from around the world. Yet, it wasn’t enough time to truly take everything in so I will most definitely be returning soon. 

Overall, that weekend was the perfect antidote to my post-midterm blues. Seeing my mom’s face IRL after a good three months made me so happy and practically made all of the stress of weeks past melt away. Aside from running around the city, we also spent a good amount of time in our coziest pajamas binging all of John Mulaney’s Netflix specials. We laughed until our bellies hurt, and it was perfect. 

This week’s playlist is dedicated to the kinds of little moments with my mom I will always cherish. I took things a little old school this time with a series of songs that I either remember listening to as a kid or that give me all the nostalgic feels when I hear them now. My mom is a big fan of Simon and Garfunkel so I included one of our collective favorites, “The Boxer,” and she also loves David Bowie’s “Starman.” In terms of songs that remind me of growing up, I put Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” (as an ode to my dad’s favorite Floyd song), and James Taylor’s “You’ve Got a Friend.” And when I really want to turn into an emotional, homesick wreck, I listen to ABBA’s “Slipping Through My Fingers” for obvious reasons. 

Photo Credit: Emma Kopelowicz

I am so lucky to have a mom who would make the effort to see me on a whim and treat me to a weekend full of delicious food and mini shopping sprees. We had the most wonderful time together and I feel better going into this next week much more relaxed. I loved getting to show my mom around the city that I now get to call my second home, and hopefully, this becomes a tradition for the rest of my time in college! 

xoxo,

Emma

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