My mother always used to say to me when I was younger, "One day you're going to thank me and say, 'You were right, Mom.'" As I approach adulthood, I realize how right she was about practically everything.

My mother is Syrian and Italian, meaning that she is stubborn, headstrong, and loud. Most Italian and Syrian families can relate to this: when our families gather together for dinners or celebrations, it's hard to get a word in because everyone is yelling over each other and speaking with exaggerated hand movements. Naturally, my sisters and I share these traits as well. Because of this, we often butt heads with our mother.

During my high school years, I would often roll my eyes at my mom if she made a comment. "Don't come home late," she would reprimand on the weekends. She would ground me if I did. While this always irritated me, I look back and appreciate that she cared enough to have rules like that. While I was not perfect and definitely came home late more than I should have, her regulations allowed me to become more disciplined as I grew up.

My mom is wise. At 55 years old, she has seen and lived through things that I have yet to experience at 19. She has provided me with love, care, and guidance, especially when I was struggling when I first moved away to school. I remember driving away from my house on move-in day, my mom waving on the porch with misty eyes. I wiped my eyes furiously because I didn't like my parents seeing me cry. She called me every week to check in, and if she wouldn't have stayed in contact with me and encouraged me countlessly, I would have probably moved home. I know that I can confide in her with anything. Our relationship has strengthened now that I'm in college. She talks to me like I'm an adult and we discuss things I never would have understood all those years prior.

When the sequel to "Mamma Mia" arrived in theaters, my mom and I went to see it. Five minutes into the movie, my mom started bawling her eyes out. Spoiler alert if you haven't seen the movie yet: Donna Sheridan died and everyone around her is grieving, particularly her daughter Sophie. I looked at my mom and naively asked her, "Why are you crying? Nothing has even happened yet!" My mom just shook her head and grabbed my hand. "You'll understand one day when you're a mother," she replied solemnly.

My mama and me looking close to twins :)

Later in the film, as Sophie is baptizing her son, she sings a song and Meryl Streep appears as Donna in Sophie's imagination to sing with her. This drove my mother to cry even more, as she said, "The love between a mother and her daughter is something like no other." I, myself, didn't cry, but I felt extremely loved at that moment. It was just my mom and me.

This year, though Mother's Day has come and gone, I want to appreciate my mom every day, not just annually on the second Sunday of May. She has done so much for me and words cannot express how grateful I am for her and everything she does. Hug your moms whenever you get the chance because it means more to them than you will ever know.


I love you always, Mom. You were always right.