I think that I'm a pretty good daughter to my mom. For the most part. Once we got past my, admittedly horrible, teenage years. I was completely convinced she was the dumbest person on earth back then. I may have had a few flashes of insight into her awesomeness during those years...but for the most part, we did not get along. At all. For about 10 years. Lots of yelling. Mostly along the you just don't understand vein. Sometimes, I hate you. Or I can't wait until I can get out of this house. You know, normal mother/teenage daughter angst.
But, when I got into my early 20s and started living in the "real world," out of that cozy place that we all live until we start paying our own bills, something clicked. Our relationship turned on a dime. I was still living at home but it was so much easier. I was an adult and, for the most part, treated like one by both of my parents.
When I moved out (or as my Dad says, ran away), it got even better. I mean, it's not all sunshine and flowers, but we get along really well. I KNOW how lucky I am that my whole family gets along - of course we love one another, but the best part? We genuinely LIKE one another. When we're all together, wow it's loud. (We are from Long Island, what of it?) But, it's full of love and laughter. I have never ever doubted this.
We've even traveled together. Just the two of us. Sharing a room. I have friends who know this and are amazed that we enjoy going away together. London. Paris. Hong Kong. Tokyo and Kyoto. Best trip ever? Egypt. This summer we were planning to take my nephew to Ireland. And if she feels up to coming, great! But if not, I'll make her feel like she was there. I'll take lots of notes and a million pictures.
I used to call her a few times a week. One of my brothers called her every day - I would joke about being a horrible child. But it was fine. I am not a big phone person and she was okay with that. I'd go home (my parents house will always be home) once a month or so. But now I call every day. And I am a total nag - are you drinking your drinks, what did you eat, how are you feeling? I don't think she minds. Most of the time. The funny thing is if I now miss a day, she's worried - are you okay? What happened? And I go home most weekends. Because I want to. And she has to encourage me not to come out and to take time for myself.
Today I'm thinking how lucky I was that my parents met, fell in love and got married almost 45 years ago. And that they had three kids. And that my brother met my sister-in-law and had two wonderful kids of their own. Because everything that's happened has brought me to this place right here. Where I adore and admire and like my mom. Where she is now a person I am honored to call friend as well as mom. Where sometimes she sees something in me that reminds her of herself and calls me her apple. The most treasured compliment - to be the apple that doesn't fall that far from my mom's tree.