Today, my friend Ashley and I reminisced over alternately hilarious and cringe-worthy episodes from our middle school and high school days. We sifted through over a decade’s worth of birthdays, old friends, mixtapes, and a cavalcade of genuinely unfortunate outfits. These stories featured many reoccurring characters, but one person kept popping up in both of our adolescent narratives: Our moms.
Our moms were the ones who listened to our meltdowns. They listened to tears and to the petty second grade drama that would become middle school drama, then high school drama (you get the idea). They listened to elaborate stories about people they would never meet and the self-important ramblings of art school teenagers. They allowed us to wear ridiculous and frequently rhinestoned early ’00s clothing.
I could list a million reasons why my mom is amazing. But what struck me today, during my traipse down Memory Lane, was her tremendous capacity for listening, and her lack of judgement. Whatever I wanted to be was okay with her: a writer, a feminist, a poet, an art school punk, an activist. Whatever I was going through was normal. Nothing was off limits when it came to our conversations. By genuinely listening to me, she became so much more than a best friend, a term so often bandied about by mothers and daughters on reality TV shows. She became my mom; someone I could count on to support me and love me unconditionally.
Talking to Ashley today, I realized that in my life I’ve had friends disappear with time, while other are still around when an embarrassing memory trade is in order. But my mom, who showed up at the conclusion of almost all of the embarrassing stories we told today, is a constant. And that’s just one reason why she’s the Mom of the Decade.
It’s Mother’s Day this Sunday, and it seems to me that, store displays for smelly candles and bubble bath be damned, the greatest gift you could give your mom is to tell her exactly how wonderful she is, and why. And if you need some help, use this clever video from MomsRising and have Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton back you up by giving your mom the prestigious “Mom of the Decade” award.