I'll Always Love My Mama
...she's my baby girl...You only get one, yeah.
I started this strange tradition when I first went away to undergrad. I was admittedly homesick though I couldn't wait to leave Cleveland and go back to NY. So, at first, it was just to get me through those times when it was really rough. And later, so that I would actually remember to call home sometimes But, whenever this song came on, I would drop what I was doing and pick up the phone.
A lot of the times, the conversations were painful. Honestly, I thought myself too cool to have anything to share with Mom. There were often a lot of "So...how's the weather?" moments and she asked a lot of questions to try to get me to share. I admit, I acted like a petulant child--feigning annoyance and trying to rush off the phone.
Admittedly, I still do it sometimes to this day and undergrad was quite a bit ago.
Maybe, its because sometimes I mistake her caring and concern for being nosey. And I should know better. Reality is I miss her just as much as she missed me--and I try to play tough for no good reason. For the record, I miss her terribly quite often. Sometimes I wish I lived closer- I've lived more than 300 miles away all of my adult life. Sometimes, I wish she would come visit me or that I could go home more frequently.
Lately, I've been missing the million questions with the same answers that we have discussed over and over, her Forgetful Jones-ness, and her convenient ability to feign like she can't hear but seems to know exactly what you said when you are talking under your breath.
Call it Ma's idiocicracies, I guess. Or just call it Ma.
But most of all, I miss feeling the love that radiates from her heart when you are in a room with her. Through out my life it has shone through her sacrifices for me and my brother. My mom has given so much of her time, her personal aspirations, her advice, and even her cash (the secret $20, $40, $50 she slips in your pocket on the way out the door because she knows you need it even if you won't ask) because of the love she feels for her children. My mom wants to see her children succeed beyond her wildest dreams and is not afraid to tell you how proud she is or that you are jacking up your potential--both said out of unending and forever enduring love.
Ma sacrificed her own career to be home with my brother and I after school. She worked third shift for several years (and still can't sleep at a regular hour to this day) so that we could go to soccer, and basketball, and tap and jazz--you name it. She lost a lot of sleep--going over homework, making sure I wasn't sitting on the phone with boys all night long, and making sure we had a hot meal.
She along with my Pop showed us the importance of family. Dream, she said, but be practical. My mantra to this day.
These days the phone is how all of this is communicated-- sometimes through torturous silences and painful discussions because she uncannily knows when I am feeling discouraged, sad, or feel like I am failing. And sometimes, the best times, when we chat away like two old girlfriends hanging out on the porch sipping lemonade.
I don't know what I'd do if she wasn't who she is, didn't love the way she does, or didn't have the Ma-dar to know when something is wrong.
You only get one , for sure.