Throughout my junior year in high school, I was profoundly sad. I dreaded waking up each morning and went to bed feeling utterly exhausted. Day after day, I would go to my mother’s bedroom after a late-night volleyball practice, cuddle up to her and just cry. It was during that year that I discovered that there’s nothing as comforting as snuggling up to your mom when you’re upset.
Whatever was ailing my junior year has since disappeared and I am a much happier person than those dark days, but there is still nothing better than a big hug from Mommy when I’m home or a text message to brighten my day. Even though I’m grown and have since lived across the country (and across the world) from her, she is still the most important woman in my life.
I know it’s cliché to say that your mom is your best friend, but it’s absolutely, 100% true. We talk every day (even if it’s just a text) and she is the first person I call with exciting news. If I ever won the lottery, she would be the first to know.
When I decided to move to Rome, it was the first time in my life that I had lived more than 15 minutes from home. Even though it meant being halfway around the world, my mom was my biggest cheerleader and encouraged me to go, just like she had when she moved to Paris at my age. We both knew that part of the reason she was so excited for me was that it meant she would be able to visit.
She came over to visit me in May of 2012 and we spent a wonderful week together: I got to show her my life in Italy and we explored all different parts of the city.
Even though she doesn’t speak Italian, she was able to pick up most of what people around her were saying and she loved learning how to pronounce the words on signs and menus.
She was happy to adapt to the Roman lifestyle – she especially got on board with the idea of nighttime strolls accompanied by gelato.
When I came back to Seattle to surprise Stefano for graduation, she was the co-conspirator who picked me up from the airport and surprised him at his house.
Since moving to Washington, D.C., we still talk all the time and I am excited for her to visit me in yet another new city. I genuinely enjoy her company, as do many other people. She is trained in psychotherapy, which means that she is the most wonderful listener and always makes everybody feel heard. In a group of people, she engages the individuals who might have something to say, but feel overwhelmed by the amount of activity going on around them.
When she’s not listening, she is full of insightful and thoughtful things to say, and her sense of humor just can’t be beat. One of my favorite things to do with my mom is watch a movie at home so we can both make side commentary and snarky comments about the film (we try to only do this together so we don’t bother other people!). Her sarcasm and dry wit is proof that we are indeed related, even though our personalities can be quite different.
Why did I write this post? Well, today is this very special woman’s birthday. Though I can’t be with her in person, I wanted to take a moment to share what a wonderful person my mother is and how she has helped me become the person I am today. I wouldn’t be where I am without her love and support and each day I am grateful to call her my mommy.
Happy Birthday, Mommy!!!