What 'Lady Bird' Made Me Realize About My Mom
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What 'Lady Bird' Made Me Realize About My Mom

I didn't quite understand what I was leaving behind.

What 'Lady Bird' Made Me Realize About My Mom

About three weeks ago in the midst of finals preparation, I decided to push my procrastination limits and watch the movie Lady Bird. It was a movie that my friend’s mom had recommended to me a few months back and it seemed to be well-received during awards season.

The movie tells the story of a teenage girl named Christine, or as she proudly calls herself "Lady Bird", and her final year of high school. Lady Bird’s senior year is filled with boyfriends and best friends and college applications. She wants to escape her boring hometown and her critical mother and move to a big city where she could redefine herself.

It was all too relatable. My senior year of high school was characterized by the uncertainness of my future. I wanted to go to a college far away and leave everyone behind. My parents and I fought constantly. We argued about staying out too late, about getting a car, about going to a school out-of-state.

Just like Lady Bird, I applied to some colleges that my parents thought were out of reach. Even the name Lady Bird made me smile, as my mother said over and over during my senior year that I was “almost out of the nest."

The movie could be a direct portrayal of my senior year. And the part that made me feel the most was the relationship between Lady Bird and her mother.

Their relationship swings quickly from love and appreciation one second to annoyance and aggression the next. There is a scene where Lady Bird and her mother are shopping at a thrift store for a prom dress, arguing aimlessly. Then, the mother pulls out a pink dress and the hostility between the two completely disappears as they admire the perfect dress together.

I could relate. I remember getting into the car with my mother after school, smiling and asking about her day, but then being inexplicably annoyed with her minutes later when she began to sing along to songs on the radio.

I always knew I wanted to move away after high school. I wanted to distance myself from my past and everyone in it. I used to keep a journal counting down the days until I would finally leave and be free and independent and happy.

In the last scene of the movie, Lady Bird is thousands of miles away from home. Exactly where she thought she wanted to be. She left her mother without even saying goodbye. She left to start a new life. But as she stands in the middle of New York City, overwhelmed and ashamed and regretful, she calls her mother.

And sitting alone on my bed in my dorm room, my mother a thousand miles away, I felt everything.

Because I didn’t realize what I was leaving behind.

Now that I’ve been in college for two full quarters, I know that it’s not everything that I thought it would be. It’s not complete freedom. It’s not entirely liberating. And I wouldn’t want it to be.

Because I still call my mom when I have a sinus infection and she tells me what medicine to take. She’s one of the only people who genuinely care about the topic of the paper I have to write and reminds me that grades aren’t everything. She always asks if I’ve eaten enough and reminds me to drink more water.

She sends me care packages with stickers and granola bars and cans of soup that I never thought I would eat but was ridiculously grateful for when I got the flu.

She loves me from a thousand miles away, and I love her, too.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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