" Losing one's mother would be like losing the sun" --Life of Pi
"My tummy feels funny, Mom. I'm hungry,"
I declared to a too-busy mother from the comfort of the front passenger seat. Ian was still too little to sit here, in the regal, glorified throne of antiquity from which this majestic six-year old could command armies, direct trade routes, and roll the window ALL the way down.
However, the view from the heavens contrasted a little too sharply with the usual expanse of blue-ish polyester that usually met my eyes, and all the reveling over my kingdom made me feel… besieged. Mom could empathize, as she had two minutes to get two kids to two lessons and felt a little too frantic to listen to me.
She made time to grab Cheetos at Wal-Mart. When combined with the Spaghettios we had hurriedly eaten for lunch, the chester-cheetah-emblazoned treats were a history-making carte de jour. Such treasures were unheard of in a realm where sugared cereal was outlawed and decrees like “if it didn’t come from the garden, it better be toilet paper” dealt almighty justice. The “if it rhymes with no, then guess what? NO” edict absolutely banned such treats from our menu, but today mom was just too busy. Now this, I thought whilst sucking orange fingers atop my blue-polyester perch, is paradise.
The Cheetos were scarcely chomped, however, when the bourgeoisie of my stomach decided to revolt. “I don’t feel very good” escaped my lips right before the amber remains of my dear spaggecheetos. I stared at the mess dripping from the front dash and—typical of ruling elite—started bawling. “How am I going to clean this up?” the sore-tummied child wailed—for I knew that if you did nothing else in life, you cleaned up your own mess.
“That’s what Moms are for, sweetheart”.
A dozen years later, I’m all grown up. Now I sit in the driver’s seat, I find my own food, I clean up my own messes. I’m responsible for myself! I’m going to college, I can’t have MOM coddling and babying and feeding me from 2000 miles away!
And yet, at the end of senior year I found myself bawling on my bathroom floor with a doozy of a tummy ache. This is what you want, right Dia? Independence, I think to myself just a little tiny bit sarcastically. Woot.
Right on cue, Mommy’s knock and a tray of thermometers and love came to my bathroom door.
“This is what Moms are for.”
This story isn’t finished, because I still need her. Whether she’s around or not, her lesson will always stick with me. Mom’s are for loving even if you’re messy or smelly or ugly or alone. They’re for giving all they have, all the life they have to give and then watching it walk away, telling them that they can make it on their own now, thanks. They love all the same, that’s what moms are for.
So please don’t make fun when I tell you my plans after college. Sure, I’ve always wanted to be a princess and a firefighter and a surgeon and an architect. But when I’m finished pretending, I want to do the hardest thing of all.
I want to be that kind of mom.