This is Why Mother's Day Means More the Older You Get

Every Sunday morning of freshman year, my mother texted me "darks cold, whites hot", because she knew that was when I did my laundry. You may laugh at my lack of practical knowledge (I no longer require these texts), but you've been in a similar situation. You've had an embarrassing question, you've felt lost doing something that comes seemingly natural to everyone else, or you've forgotten how long you have to cook a sweet potato. Or you missed out on Girl Scout Cookie season and your mom sent you 12 boxes.
So many of us spend freshman year of college in a world of self-indulgence, ignoring our moms until we need something. And that’s okay; it’s not her job to judge the amount of effort we put into something. Professors are more than happy to do that. Mothers are there to love their child without hesitation or expectation.
That unconditional love is nothing short of a miracle, and it’s about time we acknowledge that this is the most important relationship we are lucky enough to have. Growing up, Mother’s Day meant dad driving me to the mall and letting me pick out what I thought my mom would want. But I'd like to proffer that as our relationships with our mothers grows and matures, so does the importance of Mother’s Day.
Here are four often-overlooked ways our mothers are the duct tape holding together our lives:

1: Pure Advice.

There is no one in this world with better intentions than your mother. All she wants to do is create an impenetrable shield around you, protecting you from the physical, psychological, and emotional damage she knows you will inevitably face. Since this is not possible, she settles for the second best option, giving you earnest advice from a place of experience and absolute love.

2: Adult Conversation.

Perhaps you are able to have those kinds of adult conversations (like regarding adult video content), but I mean about real life things. Like the first time you take her out to dinner with your own hard earned money, and you have a discussion as equals. Or when you call her on a Sunday afternoon while grocery shopping and discuss the latest news about the election. Although your differences in age will never change, that emotional and intellectual gap seems to narrow.

3: Common Occurrences.

This summer I'm interning in the Financial Consulting department of an accounting firm. I was chosen over a male interviewee, and whether it was my own paranoia or some suggestive phrasing by the firm, I was lead to believe I was hired just to fill some gender quota. I called my mom, frustrated, and explained. After some calming words, she told me about when she was starting out in the corporate world and how badly men objectified her and included her in meetings just because she was pretty. Nothing is more reassuring than hearing, "I've been there, it sucks, but here's how you deal with it." Our mothers become allies when we face new and terrifying situations and allow us to learn from their mistakes because yes, they were once cool college kids like we all are now.

4: She Bails You Out.  

Again, perhaps you take this literally and have needed your mother to bail you out of jail. But I'm talking about that magnificent safety net we live our lives with, that nothing can ever get too bad that our mothers can't fix it. No break up too devastating or financial mishap too detrimental that a weekend at home or long phone call can't fix. We may feel lost, but never hopelessly lost. And I may be a legal adult, but I'll be damned if I ever schedule my own dentist appointments.
Mother's Day is a holiday often celebrated out of cultural obligation and some distant feeling of responsibility. Let's make it more than that.
One of the most important lessons college students learn is awareness; cultural, societal, social, we learn we have a place in this world and so does everyone else. We can appreciate the good and point out the bad, we know what's worth our time and what's not. We know ending toxic friendships is painful but necessary, and time heals all, when coupled with some Ben and Jerry's. With this knowledge comes awareness, with awareness comes appreciation, and we have a duty to recognize when true appreciation is due.
Motherhood is the thankless job that made us the bright students we are and taught us how to love without expectation. Don't let this Mother's Day be forgettable. Recognize the love you are so lucky to receive and return it in spades.