This weekend I forgot my mom’s birthday. It’s often the curse of the younger child to discover a harsh reality like this and text your sibling “Fuck, was it mommy’s birthday yesterday?!?” only to get a response like, “You didn’t call her/send her flowers/write a sonnet about her lovely ways?” (To clarify, my sister didn’t actually write a sonnet but she is an English major and a really good daughter.)
It’s so easy to go to college and totally forget that your parents exist, or to get easily irritated when you do see them. It’s frustrating when they don’t remember your friends’ names or when they speak really loudly into the phone. It’s frustrating if they don’t know anything about your life and it’s also frustrating when they mention an irrelevant detail. It’s MOST frustrating when you realize they usually are being really nice to you, and that you are just taking out your school-related angst on them. Yes, I am totally thinking of Hannah calling her parents at the end of the most recent episode of HBO’s Girls – I think a block quote is totally justified in this case:
Sometimes I feel like we have nothing in common, we don’t know each other at all, we weren’t even really put on the same earth by the same god. But at the same time I feel like there’s a hammock under the earth that’s protecting me. It really means a lot and that’s because of you and I’m grateful. I love you mom, I really, really love you.
A very bad thing that can happen in college is getting caught up, self-involved and forgetting how awesome your parents are—and my mom is super awesome. For example, when my father says things like, “You know people are now running ultra-marathons which are over 100 kilometers?” my mother will wisely respond, “Ugh, that’s really dumb. Don’t people have anything better to do? Like contribute to curing cancer or read a book?” My thoughts on exercise exactly!
My mom also encourages me to pursue anything I may be interested in, believes in my abilities whole-heartedly, will listen to my academic and/or conspiracy theories, and loves me unconditionally. In return, I often send her blowing-kiss emojis or sometimes text her “Skype?”, and then if she takes more than 10 minutes to respond I have to say, “Sorry, busy!” because I have
started watching Hulu decided to go to the library. Sometimes I even give her good YouTube video recommendations of cute babies or pandas.
My mother is also the kind of mother that will tell me not to worry when I forget her birthday, and will insist it was my father’s fault for not reminding me.
Another good point a friend of mine made in consoling me: “It’s hard to remember parents’ birthdays because they raise you to remember your birthday.” This is really true, and in that case, they must have taught me well. I have never forgotten my own birthday – are you impressed?
Anyway, everyone should send their mom a kissing face emoji tonight. She’ll appreciate it more than you know.