Monday, November 2, 2009

My Mom is a Rock Star

A few weeks ago, I was sitting in a study lounge area, trying to cram for a test before class and eavesdropping on a conversation between friends. Some things they were talking about caught my eyes.

Such as...
"My mom told me last week that she's disappointed with me. I have no idea why!"

"I told my mom I wanted an iPod Touch for my birthday. Then she told me she's getting me something better than an iPod Touch but what's better than an iPod Touch? My car, my phone, and my laptop are all new so it can't be either of them.

The first comment struck me as extremely sad because let's face it: I have the best mom on the planet. She has supported me in every area of my life. She's giving, loving, and humble. I had a tough time telling her about my decision to change my major from elementary education to journalism but she has supported me every step of the way. When the financial aid office told me I had taken too many classes and would deny me any more aid? Well, she put her "Mama Bear - Don't Mess With My Child" gameface on and called up everyone but the governor to find out why I wasn't getting aid and how I could get aid.

And when we realized that I wouldn't get any aid, she took a deep breath and told me I would still go to school and get a journalism degree. We would work it out. There is nobody in my life who supports or believes in me as much as my mom does.

My mom was a single mom for most of my childhood. She didn't divorce my dad until I was in 5th grade but my dad was too busy spending his money on gambling and drugs and alcohol to ever support us. My mom was the one to put the work into being a mother - and a father. And she did a damn good job.

But we struggled a lot. I learned at a young age the value of money. I worried at a young age, whether or not we would be evicted from our next apartment. I worried if we would have dinner that night or presents under the Christmas tree. I almost never asked my parents if I could join Girl's Scouts or baton twirling or cheerleading. Those things cost money. (Although, to be honest, I did do cheerleading once in 4th grade and again in 10th grade. Thanks, Mom!)
I didn't get a car for my 16th birthday. I didn't get a cell phone until I was 17. I relied on financial aid, scholarships, and loans to get me through college. I didn't even own an iPod until I bought one for my self when I was 19. (And I never got a Barbie Jeep! The injustice!)

But, you know, at the end of the day? Those things don't matter all that much to me. It would be nice to have my own car and have tons of money. But I wouldn't learn important values like love, support, responsibility, and commitment. I could choose my mom, someone who can't buy me everything my heart desires but desperately wants to. Or I could choose to have another mom, who could buy me everything but wouldn't give me the love and support I crave.

My mom is my best friend. And when I say that, I truly mean it. We do everything together. I have the best times with her and we have so many inside jokes. We have the same morals, values, and sense of humor. We like the same TV shows. We even dress alike. And maybe she won't be buying me a brand-new car for my birthday but I would take spending the day with her, creating more memories and laughter, over a thing.

Honestly, she is the best mom anyone could ever ask for. She raised me up right and managed to create two amazing people, who had all the odds stacked against them. A broken home, money issues, and a father who was in prison for a lot of our teenage years. And the fact that we never turned to drugs, became party animals, or promiscuous? It's all due to my mom.

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