So I Talk to My Mom Every Day

I was friends with my mom before it was cool. Long, long before it was cool. We’re talking middle school. Now I’m eighteen, and being friends with my mom isn’t as unusual as it once was, which is a relief, but we’re still closer than most college-aged kids and their parents. We talk almost every day—if I can’t call home, then at a minimum I exchange some texts with either of my parents or my little sister. This feels like a lot more than most college students, though since I started asking people, I’ve discovered I’m in fact not the only college student who calls their mom every day, but it’s still not the norm. From my informal polling, the “average” rate people call home is once or twice a week.

I didn’t necessarily set out to be the kind of college student who calls home every day. Before I left, I asked my parents how often they talked to their parents while they were at college. My mom had to wrack her brains. My dad snorted. People told me, before I left, that I should avoid calling my parents every day. That it would keep me too attached to home somehow limit me from engaging fully in my new environment. That first night at college, I purposefully didn’t call my parents. I told myself it would make me too sad, I would break down crying if I heard their voices. Turns out I cried anyway, so I’m not sure how much good that did me.

My mom holding me as a baby.

 

My parents and I had agreed we’d talk on the phone twice a week. It only took me that one night to realize this wouldn’t work. I genuinely enjoy talking to my parents. Calling almost every day is my little ritual—I give them a brief update, get to hear what’s going on at home (most importantly, what my cats have been up to and making sure my little sister hasn’t taken over my bedroom yet). As a freshman in college, where I’m still getting to know everyone around me, it’s a relief to talk to the people who know me best in the world.

In 2019, physically talking on the phone seems a little antiquated when texting is often more convenient, but there’s something special about having a real, audible conversation. When I’m texting, I’m usually going back and forth between screens, doing a couple of things at once. When I talk on the phone, I’m much more likely to give the conversation my full attention, and you can get so much more from a real conversation. I know my mom can tell just from my voice how I’m feeling. And sorry mom, you’re a slow texter.

I understand not everyone is as close to their parents as I am—or as lucky as I am to have such amazing parents. But if you can, call your mom. If you can’t, call a parent, a grandparent, a sibling. Someone from home. You’ll feel great when you do.

                                                                            My mom and I at my graduation.

 

Feature, Darren Carnell, Ella Carnell