We sit around the table, listening to the elevator music coming from the television. It is the only thing we use it for now, but because Mom refuses to master Pandora we continue to pay the monthly cable bill. I shuffle the cards and pass them around the table. The game is called "Bohnanza" and you can only play two cards a turn. It is Mom's turn and she lays down three and we all laugh because no matter how many times we explain the game she never gets it (like the time we tried to teach her Mario Kart on the Wii.) She buries her face behind her cards and starts to laugh so hard tears come out.
These are some of my favorite times with Mom, and it has nothing to do with what music is playing in the background or what game we play. It has everything to do with being with her because she makes life happy. Even when you grow up and move out, get married and become a mom yourself, you never stop needing mom. Here are ten reasons why:
1. She listens to you without judging and understands how you feel
This is perhaps my mom's best quality. She always seems to know when I need to talk, vent and get it out. And her advice never begins with, "I told you so" or "You should have known better."
2. She is your best shopping buddy
Let's face it: No matter how wonderful your husband is, it's more fun trying on jeans with Mom.
3. She intuitively knows when you need help
Even though we claim we can take care of ourselves, Mom always seems to know when we need that extra $20 each month to cover the phone bill.
4. She brings you NyQuil, chicken noodle soup and Sprite when you are sick
But perhaps the best medicine of all is her hug.
5. She takes you out of school to spend the day at the museum, going to lunch or making cookies.
My mom believes that being educated is more than sitting at a desk for eight hours. Although an avid supporter of our successful schooling (my dad is a teacher), she knows it doesn't hurt to spend a day together every once in a while.
6. She always lets you pick the movie
She says she'll pick "next time," but "next time" never seems to come.
7. She goes out of her way to make you feel special
Think of the countless birthday parties, school plays and graduation celebrations your mom has organized and supported through the years. Whether it's staying up late to make party decorations or leading the cheering section, you always know who your number one fan is.
8. She spends her money coming to visit you
Even when you live halfway across the country, she's there.
9. She is the first on your list to call with news
Whether you have exciting news like a new job or a pregnancy, or disappointments like a miscarriage or a bad day, sharing with Mom just makes life better.
10. She loves you and is always there for you
When I moved away, what I missed most wasn't the homemade meals or the folded laundry. It was being with Mom and feeling her constant love and support. Friends may be fleeting, but family is constant.
Some may be reading this right now and feel discouraged. There are women who may not have a close relationship with their mother, or others who do not know who their mother is. Many women are single moms working two jobs, trying to keep their family going.
No matter the situation, what makes all moms special is that they embody characteristics like peace, support and unconditional love associated with womanhood. By honoring mothers, we are honoring women. Whether it's moms, sisters, aunts, mothers-in-law, stepmothers or close friends, everyone has someone to appreciate.
Let's take this month to celebrate womanhood and the women who make our lives worth celebrating. Thank you, Mom. I will always need you no matter how old I get.