Written by a college student who still calls her mom, “Mommy.”
People say it’s hard to remember periods of time or certain events from early childhood, but I remember you. You would give me a bath, put me in a Disney princess nightgown, then plop me on your lap and read Goodnight Moon until I fell asleep in your arms. You always let me snuggle up next to you when my dream catcher wasn’t working, even though I kicked in my sleep. You bought me every stuffed dog at Toys“R”Us, and then you got me my first real puppy. You made me my favorite kind of Easy Mac every day for lunch with extra love, which is why I’m okay with the fact that I am 19 years old and still have baby fat. I was (and still am) the happiest little girl in the neighborhood, and it’s no secret that was all because of you.
People say that middle school is the hardest time of a girl’s life. It was hell, that’s for sure. But since I had you, I got through it just fine. My first boyfriend was a disaster (obviously), but you were the only one who could convince me to cut him loose – thank you for that. I blew through about nine different friend groups in three years, but you knew the whole time who my real friends were; they are my best friends today. I went through a tomboy phase and a heavy eyeliner phase but was able to settle into my true self because you told me every day how beautiful I was.
People say high school is the greatest time of your life. Eh, debatable. But something that high school gave me a superb education on was alcohol consumption. When you and dad caught me drinking for the first time, you could have grounded me for an eternity and helicopter-parented me for the remaining three years of high school, but you didn’t. You said, “Try a vodka cran with me first, whatever your friends have is probably cheap anyway.” And when I first discovered what a hangover felt like, you didn’t feel bad for me – you dragged me off of the bathroom floor and made me go to my lacrosse game that morning. Tough love, but I am a better woman for it.
People say that college is SO much fun that you won’t miss your parents that much. Yes, college is the most fun I’ve had in my entire life, but I still have to call you every day. I want to tell you everything, from what I ate for breakfast to the highest score on my midterms. I need you to know that you raised a hard-working and dedicated daughter, and I need to know that you’re proud. I need you to know that all of the money you saved for my tuition is being put to the best use possible, because I know how fortunate I am to have parents who provide so much for me. I also need to know whether or not red heels look good with my winter formal dress, so I call you for that too. People who say you don’t have time for your parents in college are just plain wrong, or they just don’t have a mom like you.
People say, whether you want to be or not, you’re exactly like your parents. Luckily, people say I’m your mini-me. When someone asks me about my mom, I don’t know where to start. Usually I start with the fact that you are the most kind, loving, and generous person on this planet. Sometimes I start with the fact that you’ve worked for 30 years in an incredible, challenging career and I can only hope to be as successful as you one day. Sometimes I talk about how funny you are and read people your embarrassing texts about how you order takeout five days a week or about how hot you think Adam Levine is. With all of that considered, the one thing I make sure to tell people when they ask about my mom is that you are the most important person in my life. You’re my favorite person to hug, kiss, laugh with, eat with, drink with, talk to, and everything in between. No one will ever love you as much as I do.
Thank you for raising me with unconditional love and support. Thank you for picking me up when I fall, but bringing me back down to earth when I need to be taught a lesson. Thank you for being my very best friend, and for listening when I need to tell you something, even if it isn’t what you want to hear. Thank you for being my biggest role model and setting examples for me, even though I now have incredibly big shoes to fill. Thank you for believing in me, even when I make mistakes that seem catastrophic. Most of all, thank you for being you – I can’t imagine it any other way.
Your loving daughter