When I was a kid, and my mom and I headed out on an errand, I'd ask her the same question: "Where are we going?" And my mother, laughing, would always reply: "Crazy, wanna come?"
We usually ended up at the grocery store, or the mall, or at the dry cleaners, picking up my dad's suits, but my mom made every car ride a small adventure, turning up her Gloria Estefan or Carly Simon tapes and tapping her wedding ring on the stick shift as she sang aloud (usually words she was making up, but still) and we did the Conga on the way to Stop and Shop to pick up some supplies for tuna noodle casserole. My mother loves to dance—years later, I'd learn that my father used to sneak her into clubs when she was underage (he was two years older and they've been married for 36 years) through a bathroom window so that they could hit the dance floor to Sam & Dave and Junior Walker and the All-Stars. "Mom," my sisters and I teased, "You were such a badass!"
"Oh, for cripes sake," my mother would say. My mother is always saying "For Cripes sake." It is her "Bish, plz," if you will.
My mother lost both of her parents when she was young, and has always said that all she ever wanted was for my sisters and I to have the kind of childhood that she didn't have. Our childhood was ridiculously awesome, filled with love, and laughs, and plenty of Conga-infused car rides. There were difficult times: my mother and I both share the genetic curse of depression, and the stubbornness that comes with an Irish Catholic upbringing that makes talking about said depression quite difficult at times, but one of the most positive aspects of my recovery process from the eating disorder that swallowed most of my twenties was that my mother started a healing process of her own, and now we're closer than ever.
My mother doesn't give herself enough credit for the amazing job she did raising me and my sisters: we are all strong, independent women who were taught that we could be and do anything, and that even when things get scary or sad, those who love you will always be there. And, perhaps most importantly, she taught us that sometimes, life will drive you crazy, and all you can do is go along for the ride, dancing as you head off into whatever adventure awaits.
I love you, Mom. Happy Mother's Day. And this one's for you!
Feel free to leave a note about your mom, or the mother figure in your life, in the comments.
[Image via Someecards]