|In Florida, 2006|
Things weren't always hunky dory between my mother and me. As luck would have it, I hit puberty dangerously close the time she began "the change." At least that's what my dad always called it; I can remember at one point thinking, What on Earth is she changing into??? Needless to say, the teen years were more than a little rocky. Hormones (or the lack thereof) were to blame for quite a few arguments, tiffs and a couple all out wars. My mom tries to say now that I wasn't that bad, and I suppose in comparison to some teenagers I wasn't. But I won't even try to deny that I was mouthy and a bit of a smartass. I didn't even try to hide that I was counting down to the day I could move to college. My mother's motto became, "Well soon you'll be out of here and won't have to deal with me anymore." I still loved my mother, but we were just so different. I just thought we'd always be at odds.
I moved to college and things got better to a degree. We weren't in each other's space so much, so there were fewer opportunities to argue. The problem was that I had my share of wild hairs and wild oats to sow. Looking back, I know my mom was just worried about me but I accused her of trying to control my life and treating me like a child. Truth is, I was a child and I did need someone else to control my life because I was doing a piss poor job myself. I bounced back and forth between accusing my mother of smothering me with her constant phone calls and moping around my dorm room when she didn't call for 2 or 3 days. Deep down I craved a good relationship with my mom; I was just too proud to do my part. Even though I was often hateful and ungrateful, my momma was still there for me, going
|My mother SPEEDING for me! ;)|
When I moved home during the summer of 2001 to work for the summer and plan my wedding, my relationship with my mom began to improve. I was a tiny bit afraid that we'd fight over my wedding, but we had a great time. I'll never know how she truly felt about me getting married at first, but I have to suspect that she was worried. Not that she didn't like John--he was great. It had nothing to do with him and everything to do with me. I didn't have the best track record of forming (and staying in) stable relationships. I was flighty and impulsive and had already ended one engagement. John and I had only been dating a few months when we announced our plans to marry and our wedding date was less that seven months after our first date. My mother only asked me one time if I was sure about getting married. When I promised her that I knew this was what I was supposed to do, she never brought it up again and was nothing but supportive. And though I would have married John regardless, it made me feel more confident when people questioned me because my mom supported me.
|Mothers' Day 2007|
My mother has always been there for me, and when John came along, she was there for him, too. Not long after we married, I had to take John to the ER in the middle of the night. In my panicked state, I locked my keys in the car. I was in tears and didn't have any close friends yet to call. So I called home. My mom (and dad) drove to Memphis in the middle of the night to drive me to my apartment to get the spare set. Then they sat with me in the ER until John was released. After that, someone told me, "If I were your mom, I'd have just told you to call the locksmith." This was another turning point. Though I knew that some people had crappy mothers, I thought what my mom did was normal mom behavior. Nope.
As the years have passed, my mother has become one of my best friends. I call her to celebrate victories and mourn losses. I seek out advice, comfort and encouragement. If I need to laugh, cry or cuss, she listens patiently. And though I've reached the point in my life where I don't have to be mothered, it's now--more than ever--that I find myself needing my mother. Sometimes I feel like I lean on her too much, especially considering the challenges and hardships she has in her life. Maybe I give her credit for being stronger than she is. All I know is that she's never let me down and she's the one person I've been able to trust completely for 32 years.
|Amelia and Momma on her 64th birthday|