Oh, how we used to fight. And my mother and I fought about everything from hair brushes to philosophical differences.
I never held back during our debates, and she never wanted me to.
I suppose that’s why the art of shutting up still eludes me. The woman who raised me never me taught me that.
“I raised you to be independent and to speak your mind, so I guess I asked for it,” she always said.
It seems like each day I realize something else we don’t have in common, but I can’t deny the feelings of comfort, safety and home I feel anytime she visits me.
When I told her earlier this year that her only child, and three grandchildren, would be moving about four hours away to start the next chapter in our lives, she offered supportive words.
Then she drank wine.
Then she shopped for the new home I had yet to secure.
Once my family and I found the home we love in the Dallastown School District, she announced that Nana would be seeing her grandkids as much every month as she did when they lived in Pittsburgh.
And, indeed, she has. In fact, I think we see her more now than when she was only an hour away. She’s frequently here for about a week at a time–met with the hugs of my three children, who are eager to see what gifts she’s brought this time.
This week, those gifts included clothes, music, superheroes and water toys.
In her eyes, my children are perfect and worthy of spoiling–an opinion she (thankfully) never bestowed upon me.
And she frequently tells me–and random strangers in the supermarket–that she’s a far better nana than she was a mother. It can create a very awkward moment while shoppers scan produce for the perfect peaches.
But if I’m being really honest, even though it sometimes surprises me, I’m just as excited as the kids are when she shows up, awkward moments and all. With her, I don’t need to explain myself, apologize or worry about anything.
Most importantly, I know I will laugh–at her and with her. She speaks of the resurrection of “Dallas” as though it’s as important as Obamacare legislation. She calls just to remind me of the anniversary of “Footloose.” And we have an amount of inside jokes that enables us to carry on conversations with nothing more than facial expressions and prepositional phrases.
She also lets me know when I’m being ridiculous, and that’s a service I require often.
So even though I’m a mother of three and a grown-up by many standards, I still need my mom.
Because, really, where would I be without knowing the prime time drama of the wealthy Ewings in Texas?
She never taught me to sew, but you better believe I know who shot J.R.