I’m putting off writing an essay not because I’m incredibly lazy and built for procrastination (well, that too) but because everyone should know how amazing my mom is. There might be the Pacific Ocean separating us at the moment, but my mom deserves the love and attention especially after putting up with me for 20 years. Mom, this one’s for you.
This morning I tweeted:
And I figured I should expand on it because my mom’s worth it. (Aw, I know.)
1) Runs On Coffee
My mom is a well-crafted machine built for efficiency and fueled by coffee. I’m willing to bet she could drive to Starbucks, order a Grande Cup of Awesome and drive home…in her sleep…without causing any major collisions. That’s how often she goes. It’s muscle memory at this point. Who really needs eyesight, right?
Mom and I are different in every aspect of the word, but one thing we have in common is our love for coffee. Mom and Jaylla go out to get manicures and pedicures. Mom and I go out to get coffee.
2) Silent Treatment Champ
I swear my mom is the reigning champ of psychological warfare in our house. Mom knows exactly how to choose her battles, when to give in and when to fight. I would know because I admit, back in high school, I was not the easiest teenage slacker to deal with. Looking back on it, the things we’d clash over were silly, but it always forced me to play smart.
We would have our little tiffs. It didn’t happened a lot, but once in a while we’d go head-to-head and the silent treatment would commence. I’d be broody and cranky and miserable and Mom would remain resilient. Eventually one of us would give in (more like I would give in) and admit defeat and life returned to normal. She taught me that I couldn’t always get what I wanted. Going beyond lecturing me about it, Mom made me feel it. Lesson learned. Well played, Mom. Well played.
3) Vegas = Her 2nd Home
I go to Vegas with the family maybe once or twice a year. My parents own a timeshare, usually a two or three bedroom suite with a kitchen, a Jacuzzi that could probably fit five (not like we tried or anything) and either a view of the pool or the Strip. Mom will get us all situated and then hit the casino. Who needs sleep when you’re such a beast at slot machines, right? The best part is if mom wins it’s like Christmas morning every morning. Dollar signs in my eyes.
Sometimes Mom goes to Vegas and she even leaves the family home because, let’s be real, we only slow her down. Don’t hate the gambler hate the game. She’ll fly up for weekends and Dad jokes that that’s the key to a successful marriage—taking vacations away from the family. All I know is it makes her happy and that makes us happy.
4) Saved a Choking Man Once
Coming from a family with so many people in the medical field, I’ve always felt and unapologetically resisted the pressure to take the same path; however, if there was ever a point in my life where I seriously considered the medial route it was sparked by this single moment.
We were eating in China Town when a man at a table across the way started choking and sputtering. The restaurant broke out in a panic. Then my grandma, who’s a nurse and also pretty much the freaking Godfather, gave my mom, also a nurse, a nudge. Then Mom jumped up and went to help. Like it was instinctual. An automatic reflex. As I sat there motionless in front of my duck noodle, watching this all play out, my mom was quite possibly saving a man’s life.
I remember thinking: firstly, my mom is awesome. Secondly, my mom matters.
Since being on my own, in college and questioning everything, I keep asking myself: What’s the point? Of trying so hard? Of growing up and doing things I simply don’t want to do? Of conforming to societal expectations? Of existing? And, how do we take this existence and make it matter?
My mom helps people. Usually it isn’t as dramatic as the choking man in China Town, but little things. When she isn’t working at the hospital or teaching at HPU, family members will call her with medical questions and Mom disperses her nurse knowledge. She helps and changes people’s lives a little at a time. To me, that’s the definition of mattering. It’s mattering in the best way possible.
As inspirational and motivating of a moment as it was, I still pass on the medical lifestyle. I have no problem with blood or needles, but curse these shaky hands! Still, my mom makes me want to matter. Maybe not in the same way, but matter nonetheless.
5) Shops Like a Honey Badger Hunts
Did I ever tell you that my parents and the kiddies came to visit me for Thanksgiving? Did I tell you that they arrived at like 12 or 1-ish in the morning and then at 5 AM we were out the door, hitting up the outlets for Black Friday? Well, it happened.
In war, they say no man gets left behind. Well, shopping isn’t war. If you can’t keep up, Mom will leave you behind, but she will also buy you a few things and if you’re really lucky even the ridiculous things like chocolate ice cream in 30 degree weather and sea monkeys. True story.
There are so many things about my mom that I love. Seriously, I could go on for days. I could tell you the story of how I was almost born in my grandma’s kitchen or I could name my sister’s friends and our cousins who literally call her “mom.” I could even talk about the time I cracked my fingernail in the middle of a lecture class. There was blood everywhere and the first person I called was my mom.
Above all, one of the things I love most about her is how she always supports me. It’s cheesy, but true. While all my friends’ parents told them what they could and couldn’t do, told them that they were going to be nurses or doctors, my mom told me to do what I wanted to do. She told me to leave if that’s what I needed. She let me go. She helped me go. If she held me back and kept me home I probably wouldn’t be the person I am now. And, not to sound arrogant, but let’s face it, I am pretty awesome. Must be genetic.
We still have our disagreements—she did turn my bedroom into her own personal “craft room” the second I left for college, gave away DANCIE (my rabbit) and SHELDON (my turtle) and there’s the Kindle (I cannot fathom why she is a fan of that thing) vs. Real Books (forever and always!) argument that still rages on between us—but I wouldn’t change a single thing about my mom. She’s led our family on trips around the world, brought us back intact and gave us opportunities some can’t even dream of.
I know I’m a total pain who never knows when to shut up, but despite this I hope you know how much I love you, mom. Happy Mother’s Day!