Tuning In

Tuning In

Part Two

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"Shoot me now."

"Can't. We have a road trip tomorrow. I refuse to suffer alone."

"Bully."

"You know you love me."

I let out a snort.

"Yeah, sure. Let's go with that."

"I can hear you rolling your eyes Mads."

"You know me too well."

"I'm going to turn in. I've still gotta pack before your mom wakes us up at the crack of dawn."

"We're not even coming to get you until ten."

"Crack. Of. Dawn."

"Alright, well get your beauty sleep. I'll see you tomorrow."

"Night."

"Night."

I set my alarm and stared at my ceiling thinking about what my mom had said to me about Fletcher. We'd always been inseparable but I'd never thought of him as boyfriend material. Fletcher had a type and I definitely didn't fit into that mold. His girlfriends so far had all been petite, blonde, athletes. My red hair, tall stature, and drama geek personality didn't really fit into that.

"Not that it matters," I muttered to myself.

Fletcher and I were just friends. We'd always been just friends and there's no way that I was going to complicate our relationship just because my mom thought we'd be cute together.

I woke up with a start to the screeching of my alarm. I groaned as I turned my alarm off. I could hear my mother shuffling around downstairs. I could picture her running around, grabbing everything on her checklist from the various places where she'd stashed them.

"Maddie, are you up yet?" she called from downstairs.

"Yeah, Mom. Be down in a minute!"

"You'd better already be packed!"

"Yeah, yeah," I muttered.

I grabbed the few things that I hadn't packed and shoved them in my bag. I pulled on jeans, my favorite band tee, and a hoodie before heading downstairs.

"Bag?" My mom asked with her hand out.

I handed it over.

"Anything I can do to help?"

"Call Fletcher. Who knows if that boy is actually awake or not yet."

"Okay. Anything else?"

"I have your father loading the car. So, everything is covered."

"Breakfast?"

"We'll stop after we pick up Fletcher."

"Alright."

I hit the icon for Fletcher on my phone and waited for him to pick up.

"Hello?" a groggy voice answered.

"Dude, mom is going to flip if you aren't packed by the time we get there."

"Oh, hi Mads."

"Get your butt up and packed. She's promised breakfast after we pick you up."

"Okay, okay, I'm up. Text me when you're on the way."

"Maddie, we're leaving now!"

"You might want to pack really fast. We're leaving now."

"Crap!"

"See you soon!"

I ended the call and raced out to the car.

"Is he awake?"

"Getting packed now."

My mom shook her head.

"That boy."

"You'd think you'd be used to it by now." I teased.

My mom smiled.

"Oh, I am. I just have hope that one day he won't do everything last minute."

"Yeah, I wouldn't hold your breath."

We drove to Fletch's house. My mom beeped the horn. I couldn't help but laugh as I took in Fletch pulling a hoodie over his head with one hand and his overflowing bag held closed with other. He raced over to the car, threw his bag in the back and hopped in. he flashed a smile.

"Who's ready for breakfast?"

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Dear Mom, Now That I'm Older

A letter to the woman who made me the woman I am today.
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Dear Mom,

Now that I'm older, I definitely appreciate you a lot more than I did as a kid. I appreciate the little things, from the random text messages to constantly tagging me on Facebook in your "funny" photos and sending me pins of stuff I like on Pinterest. Now that I'm older, I can look back and realize that everything I am is all because of you. You've made me strong but realize it's okay to cry. You've shown me how a mother gives everything to her children to give them a better life than she had, even when she's left with nothing. And, most importantly you've taught me to never give up and without this, I would not be where I am today.

Mom, now that I'm older, I realize that you're the best friend I'm ever going to have. You cheer me on when I try new things and support me in deciding to be whatever person I want to be. Thank you for never telling me I can't do something and helping me figure out ways to be the best woman I can be. Your love for me is unconditional. They say true, unconditional love can only come from God, but mom, I think you're a pretty close second.

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Now that I'm older, I don't get to see you as much. But not seeing you as much just makes the times I do get to see you the absolute best, and I look forward to it every time. Now that I'm older, I'm not going to live at home. But, I promise to always come back because I know the door is always open. Your house is always going to be my home, and no other place is going to be the same.

Now that I'm older, I realize how much I miss you taking care of me. I miss you making me dinner, making sure I was doing well in school, and taking me to endless appointments. I miss you waking me up for school and then waking me up again because I didn't listen the first time.

But, Mom, now that I'm older, I can see all that you've done for me. I can look back and see how big of a brat I was but you still loved me (and let me live) anyways. I can understand why you did certain things and frankly, you're one bada** of a woman.

To have you as my mom and my best friend has been the best thing that has ever happened to me. So, Mom, now that I'm older, thank you, for everything.

Love,

Your Daughter

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To The Mom I Appreciated Back Then, But Appreciate So Much More NOW

I hope you're proud.

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I started writing this articles about three to four months ago when I told my Mom how excited I was for this new opportunity before "I am proud of you" was said she screamed, "when do I get an article??"

Well, Mom, I told you never so you would get off my back, but here I am - writing you the article you deserve.

Mom,

I wrote about this in my letter to you and dad about your divorce but it reigns true, going to college showed me so much. I found people cursing their mother on the phone, never wanting to go home to see their mom and hating their mother with everything they had. I sat there in disbelief. How can you hate someone who did everything they could to give you the life you live? Who got you to where you are now.

I appreciated you before, but college made me realize how incredible you are.

Mom, thank you for raising me as a single parent - I know that Dad was always a big part of my life too but you did so much for me. Thank you for understanding me and what I needed even when I was not vocal about it. I never told you what I was feeling but you always seemed to know when something was off. Thank you for giving the best hugs, every time something is going wrong or I am missing home all I can picture an image is coming home to hug you.

That warm embrace that through everything was always there. Thank you for encouraging me, pushing me and never letting me give up. Thank you for showing me a strong woman, one that refuses to accept the glass ceiling, one who refused to let anyone get in the way of her and her goals. Thank you for loving me, supporting me and believing in me when I refused to do so for myself.

I know there have been times when we get rocky and our relationship was not perfect, it is a mother-daughter thing for sure, but thank you for showing me every time that your love, care, and devotion to who I am is unwavering.

Your taco chicken will forever be my least favorite meal and your singing will always be the last thing I want to hear. Yet I would not trade those for the world, I would not trade your crazy outlook and insistent ways for anything else.

I will never be able to repay you for what you did for me, but I will forever be so thankful and appreciative of it, I hope I make you proud.

Love you most,

Your Daughter

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