It's not every day that someone has a birthday, it is every year. My mom turns 39 today and she can't seem to cope with getting older. I tell her that most moms are turning 55, 56, even 57, but she still feels like she is the eldest. Since she feels upset about things like this, I like to write Odyssey articles to show her my love and appreciation for her.
Mom, you have taught me more about life than you probably are aware of. Or even mean to teach me.
We have a very honest relationship which is something I have always appreciated. You were/are always there for me and I have always been able to tell you anything. I remember going to my first party (if cops are reading this I was 21). Before I left you told me a slogan that I plan to get tattooed on my left shoulder sometime soon. "Beer before liquor, never been sicker. Liquor before beer and you're in the clear." You definitely went to Penn State. Unfortunately, nothing was in the clear for me at that first outing but at least I can't blame you for not getting me prepared.
Since being #abroad for almost 6 months it has not slipped my mind that I haven't gone one day without texting you or talking to you. I am sorry for texting you when it is 6 a.m. your time and expecting you to respond and even sorrier for CALLING you at this hour (thank goodness you work six days a week and are up anyways) this is a humble brag because my mom works her ASS off so that I can wear Louboutin shoes and Gucci sunglasses. In all seriousness you are an all-star — you work hard, you
laugh work harder, you ACTUALLY laugh really freaking loud and you're still able to make doctors appointments for me!
One of my fondest times of being in Italy was when my mom visited. There's something so special about showing the people you love the place you love. We went to get wine one night around 5 before my class (why would I go to class 100% sober?) at a cute little cafe where the glasses were dirty but the wine was rich (someone write that down). It was here that you taught me quite possibly the most important thing I've learned so far. She said that everyone is going to have their own path in life and just because mine isn't the same doesn't mean it's wrong.
Mother dearest you make me feel confident with my choices, but also are not afraid to tell me when I have royally messed up.
My first time traveling alone I missed my morning flight to Budapest. My mom was the one who convinced me that yes I really messed up but these opportunities only come so often, so I got a new flight later that day. I remember it so vividly I was walking by the duomo hysterically crying while telling you I missed my flight but you made the tears go from sad to overjoyed. My mom also was the person that I called while I was on the shuttle bus on the way to my connecting flight in Frankfurt (that I clearly was going to miss) while crying, and then laughing because who else would this happen to. Thank you for telling me to "breathe" I literally always forget to ha.
Since becoming an au pair (pronounced "oh pear") this summer, I have learned a lot about how to deal with children and cope with things like crying, screaming and fighting. One of the girls had a HUGE breakdown one night and it scared me because I had no clue what to do. She eventually calmed down of course but I texted my mom asking what I should do. She told me she would hold me and rock me. Me, the intellectual asked: what if that didn't work? The woman would give me a Hershey kiss every time this happened. This led to me throwing tantrums if I was hungry at age 17 because if my mom said no snacks before dinner she couldn't resist giving me a Hershey kiss if I was crying. (This is a joke. I OBVIOUSLY stopped having these immature crying sessions at age 16...)
Thank you for raising me to be so familiar with sarcasm, and to use it quite possibly too much in everyday conversation. You told me a story where you had a parent-teacher conference with my second-grade teacher and she asked if there is a lot of sarcasm used in our house. You said yes and she said it makes sense because dana (ME!!!) picks up on her sarcasm when no one else does and laughs at it while the other kids don't even catch what she said. This must have been the moment you knew I was going to be a computer scientist. I also want to mention how my fourth-grade teacher called you questioning why on my "all about me" board under where I said my favorite food was nachos I said my favorite song was "PROMISCUOUS" BY NELLY FURTADO you literally raised a gem.
Mom you've given me a life I would never trade for anything. You have been through
a lot too much, and the way you deal with things teaches me so much about life and makes me appreciate you as a mom but even more as a person. I applaud you for teaching me to not take things so seriously. Everything that I am experiencing is a learning lesson, and I sure have learned a lot. What happens when it is no longer a learning lesson and I am just actually bankrupt??? To be continued...
To a woman who deserves to be celebrated every day. I thank you for our Nagoya dates, yoga sessions (sry I kinda quit), real housewives marathons, back scratches, watching the bachelorette with you, beach days, Chianti Classico chugs, discussing books, going on walks, visiting me at work (vice versa), always encouraging me to seize the day and take advantage of my opportunities, laughing until we cry, crying until we laugh, and loving to the moon and back.
Happy, happy birthday AND I WILL SEE YOU IN FIVE DAYS!!!