They say no one will love you more than your mother. They say no one will or could ever replace your mother. As a kid and teenager, you don’t really believe that. You’re used to always having her around and doing things for you. Things that you take for granted because you don’t appreciate how they happen. With age comes awareness to the different responsibilities in the adult World. The older you get, the more you realize that your mother has been babying you all along so you don’t have to worry about any of those things. Suddenly, you find yourself having to do all those things and you quickly learn to appreciate your mother.
I was blessed to have the best mother and grandmother anyone could ever ask for. Loving, patient, wise and always ready to defend me. I must admit, as a teenager, I was horrible. Constantly in the principal’s office or having my teachers email my mom because I was misbehaving in class. It was never nothing serious, just a teenager being a teenager. Whenever I got in trouble, I knew that the car ride home would be miserable. Silent and I wouldn’t be able to play my music. My mom’s most common form of punishment was have me listen to her old school songs during the 30 min drive home to Hayward. If I were to talk, it would somehow end up with her going off on me about school. It was best to stay silent…
As frequently disobedient as I was, my mother never lost faith in me. She knew deep down I was a good kid who was just going through a rebellious time. A teenager trying to find his role amongst his friend and who lacked a constant male figure at home. Of course, when you’re that age, you don’t care. In my mind, all I cared about was that new Lil Wayne song, updating my Myspace profile and debating about how LeBron was better than Kobe. Each time I got in trouble, my mother’s anger wouldn’t last very long. A couple of hours or maybe a day. Things got back to normal. I’d do my time in detention and the slate was clean. Not for my mom.
I cannot imagine what I put my mom through during those years. The pressure of being a single mom raising a son and having to see him getting in trouble all the time. Our relationship wasn’t always perfect but we got along great. Truthfully, my mom and my sister had always been two of my closests friends. We knew it was just us and that made our bond even stronger. Therefore, I knew that every mistake I made affected them even more.
They say mothers are the first to cry when something bad happens to you. First to celebrate when something good happens. Thick or thin, they’re there. I’ve been blessed to have a mother and grandma who stuck it out with me and helped raise me as a man. My grandma left my side three years ago now and I am disappointed she never got to see the type of man I turned out to be. However, I know that I have an angel above me and with me on this Earth. The older I get, the more I learn to appreciate them and everything they did for me.
When I first moved out for Portland State in September 2016, I felt alone, lost and stressed. First time living by myself in a different state and no one there with me. It was a rough couple of weeks for me but even harder on my mom. Her youngest child had left her side for the first time and my absence at home became almost intolerable for her. It was then that I truly began my adulthood. Living on my own, providing for myself and having no one else to take care of myself but me. I began to value and appreciate everything she did for me. Every little thing I took for granted in the past now seemed so difficult.
Learning to appreciate everything your mom does is one of the most important lessons about growing up. Some people don’t learn such lesson until it’s too late. I am grateful that I was able to learn it by age 21 when I can still show her my appreciation. I have never been one for sappy and lovey forms of affection but I have found ways to show her. A simple 10 minute facetime conversation makes her day and I know it. We can just talk nonsense, crack jokes or keep her up to date with sports. You don’t need an Instagram post or a large bouquet of flowers to show her you love her. It’s the small things that she’ll love.
I have the majority of my life left to live and I have not reached my life goals. However, at age 21, I think I’ve learned various lessons that I have my mother and grandmother to thank for. It hurts that I cannot share any more days with my grandmother. I make up for it by making sure my mom knows what she means to me daily. How thankful I am for everything.
I know not everyone in this World has grown up with a mother or any form of female role model. I was blessed to have two. At the end of the day, if you’re like me and you still have your mom around, remember to appreciate her and everything she does for you. Your story will be different than mine and that’s fine. However, we can all relate to the main idea. The fact that no one in this World will love you more and no one will be there crying and celebrating with you more than your mom. Be thankful for everything she has done for you not just on Mother’s Day but all the other 364 days of the year as well. Shoutout to all the moms all over the World for everything you guys do! But especially, shoutout to my mom for being the best mother/father I could’ve ever asked for.