I am one of those people that is very close to my family. I never minded hanging out with my parents, grandparents, or cousins on a Friday night; in fact, I loved and enjoyed every minute of it. My parents and I have a very close bond and it has been like that for as long as I can remember. If Mama and I wanted to go to the beach, then we would take off and go. If Dad and I wanted to have a "daddy-daughter date night" then we would find the nearest Mexican restaurant.
I always thought that our close bond was formed when we moved to Pennsylvania since we had to leave a lot of our family behind and go on a new adventure. I was three when we moved and not yet in school, so my Mama and I had a lot of time together. From that point on, Mama remained my closest friend.
All of the sports...
When I was younger, Mama would take me to all the dance practices I wanted to go to, even if it meant Monday through Thursday nights. She watched all the dance routines my friends and I made up and would check on me every time I crashed in the floor from my knee giving out. Both of my parents would watch my ballet company's show of "The Nutcracker" for three nights straight every December.
Mama is the one that taught me about basketball since she is a Carolina basketball fan. She took me to different basketball camps and cheered with my Dad as I played small tournament games with kids that were around my age (basketball did not last long for me after I experienced how rough the sport can really be). When I was ready to leave dance, she supported me and knew it would be hard for me to give up something that I loved.
Then I was ready to try gymnastics and tennis, so she took me to more practices, recitals, and matches. There were early Saturday morning practices at the club and pretty leotards to buy. Not to mention the constant rearranging of furniture so I could do flips across the living room floor. Honestly, I do not think she missed a game while I played tennis in high school. I was thinking about taking my Senior year off from tennis, but she encouraged me to stick it out one more year just to finish out all four years. Looking back now, I am glad that she told me to play my last year since it became my favorite year of tennis.
All life's ups and downs...
No matter what was happening in my life, I would come home and talk to Mama for at least thirty minutes about everything that happened that day. She always sits there and lets me rant about whatever I need to while inserting her own comments on the subject. After I do this then I feel like I can let whatever it is go and move on with my life.
I remember one time she threw me for a surprise by her response. I called her from the school bus to tell her that my high school boyfriend and I had broken up. Instead of saying she was sorry to hear that, she said something along the lines of "Are you kidding me? I just ordered your dress for the formal!" What I did not know was a few minutes before I had called her, she was online shopping for the dress I wanted and had just hit order when her phone began to ring. I remember laughing so hard because it was not what I expected her to say and told her not to worry because I was still going to the school dance. The dress she ordered me was beautiful and to this day it was my favorite dress that I ever wore.
She's my best friend...
Throughout my life, Mama has been there for me through everything. All of the good grades, plays, break-ups, awards, recitals, birthdays, bloody knees, and mud pies. But you know what? I have never once heard her complain about any of it. She has taught me to love books, take a break every once in a while, play when I could, be crafty, and to simply enjoy life.
Mamas take a special part in their children's hearts and with her kindness, love, and honesty she has become one of my best friends. Mama is the one that will get on a bus with me to go to NYC to see a Broadway show. She's the one that will sit by the pool while I swim for hours on end. She's the one that will take selfies with me, but then have the final say on whether or not they should be deleted.
She is a part of my world and I would not choose anyone else to be my Mama!
So, here's to you, Mama. Thank you for everything you have ever done for me. Thank you for taking time out of your own life to be a part of my life.
Happy birthday, Mama. We love you!