It’s safe to say I’ve always been a mama’s boy. I’m not ashamed of it. I loved my dad dearly, and loved spending time with him but I don’t think there was ever any doubt that I was, and am, my mom’s son. I was a shy kid. Intensely so. I used to walk around with my hand in my mom’s back pocket and would tuck away behind her leg when she’d start a conversation with another parent. I have a legendarily awful memory but I remember that clearly. And even remember grabbing onto a guy’s back pocket by accident once, thinking it was my mom. It may have been the worst thing to ever happen to me at that point in my life. But hey, it was the 80s, everyone wore fashionable, high-waisted jeans, right? The point is, for the first 8 years of my life, where my mom went, I followed.
My mom was young when she had kids—had my sister at 18, my brother at 21, me at 23. I’m well past half my mom’s age at this point. In fact I remember her turning 30 and I’m 33 now (sorry for blowing up your spot mom—no one do the math on that). How weird is that? I’ve always loved having a young mom. She not only raised me on Oingo Boingo and Devo, but even through high school and college was telling me about bands like The Offspring, Linkin Park, and the Plain White Ts, all way ahead of when they broke big. She’s hipper than I am.
Here’s another cool thing: my mom is really, really good at telling and reading stories. I’m being totally unbiased, my mom can read the shit out of a story. She’ll have you in tears by the time she’s done reading Star Mother’s Youngest Child, which she used to read to me and my siblings every year and now reads to my niece and nephew. I look forward to someday having kids who will be so emotionally invested in my mom’s reading of Goodnight Moon that they’ll require therapy later in life.
In fact it’s my mom’s love of a good story that’s fully to credit for any ability I have to turn a phrase. Not that I make a living at it, or even consider myself particularly good at it (note how gracelessly I bounce from paragraph to paragraph, or my endless asides), but the fact that I try, and love to do so, is entirely her influence; her reading to me and my brother every night; her continually suggesting books for me to read (even bonkers sci-fi shit like The Gap Cycle, which I swear will be a hard-R movie epic someday, and again my mom will be proven the hippest chick around); her own sense of wonder and love of the world.
So anyway, that’s just a small slice of my mom. There’s a ton more to share (her punishment methods, how she thinks absolutely terrifying young children is totally fine, how her mushroom chicken dish is my favorite thing to eat and why we never eat it), but I plan on having her around for a ton more Mother’s Days so I’ll dole them out over the years.
For now I will say this about my mom, and not just because it’s Mother’s Day: My mom is my best friend. She is my rock. She is the reason I see meaning in the world around me. She is the reason I am unafraid to fail. She is caring, kind, loving, and loves my friends every bit as much as she loves me (well, almost as much). She is the very definition of a mom, but most importantly she is my mom. And for that, I am very, very thankful.
I love you mom! Even though I think there’s a distinct possibility you love your dog more than me.
Author’s note: This is normally where you’d see a heart-warming photo of my mom and me as a cute (and make no mistake, I was SUPER cute) 6 year old. But here’s the deal: the wonderful thing about having a professional photographer for a father is that there are thousands of pictures of your childhood. The horrible thing about having a professional photographer for a father is that they are all on 35 MM slides in a filing cabinet in storage somewhere. To make up for this, here’s a picture of my mom with my niece, from 2003ish: