Most of my friends, relatives, and even readers know that I have a special relationship with my father. And most of them also know I have a complicated relationship with my mother. But after 33 years of life, it is about time that I give her the praise and respect she deserves.
I have never called my mother mommy, mom, or mama. For me, she has always been mother or the nickname I gave her moeder, the dutch word for mother. Even though I might give her a very serious or strict name, she is anything but.
My mother is the sweetest and most kind person I have ever met. And growing up not being so sweet or kind gave way to some normal mother/daughter tension. My mother also happens to be extremely girly and fond of rules, which also helped fuel the fires of some of our battles. And even though growing up I believed us to be extremely different...basically polar opposites, I have now realized that we are quite similar, and that I could learn more from her than I once thought.
Being a parent is the most impossible love there is. You love your child infinitely and nothing can change that AND the object of your love will NEVER fully understand that love unless they too have a child, and even then, it isn't really something to compare. It is the most selfless and impossible of loves. My mother happens to be the queen of this kind of love. She has more love to give than I know how to accept, I wish she had had more kids, but c'est la vie. She gives and gives and loves and loves even when I act like a complete asshole. And believe me, I have acted like a complete asshole so many times. But it is not only her capability to love that I wish to highlight. It is her ability to just be open to new things and change.
Growing up, my mother was open to listening to "my music", enjoying the songs of Dr. Dre and Salt-N-Pepa. She was also open to letting me try new hobbies like gymnastics, ballet, and ice skating. She was different from my dad who really wanted me to do martial arts and listen to The Doors. I liked the things my dad liked because I idolized him, but my mom gave me the freedom to discover what I liked and allowed me to share that with her. At the time, I didn't realize or appreciate that. But now, as an adult I realize how important that was for me to be comfortable being me.
It isn't easy having a child that is constantly changing and devoted to living a life of adventure. It especially isn't easy if that is the only child you have. You constantly worry if she will be okay, financially, physically, and emotionally. Parents always want the best for their kids, but mostly they want them to be happy. It is hard sometimes being that kid, the one that seems to be constantly breaking their parents' heart. Choosing the unconventional every time, and easily being able to say good-bye to start over again.
Every time I embark on a new life adventure I get extremely nervous on how my parents will take it, especially my father. And as I am about to embark on another one, I had to go through the process all over again. My father has his own ideas of success and life, and although we share many of the same opinions and have similar personalities, our life ideologies tend to be quite different. But, my mother and I tend to be on the same page. She is not afraid to learn something new, or to do something totally different than what she once did. She is the one that left her own home to move to a foreign country as a young twenty something. She also was exposed to travel at a young age, and thus became curious and open to other cultures and other people. As much as she believes in rules, she also knows you can carve your own path, it isn't dictated for you. In the eyes of her own family, she lived an unconventional life. She majored in Spanish, married a Mexican, and moved to Mexico City, all at a time when that seemed kinda crazy for a girl from small town Ohio.
So I am writing this entry in honor of that crazy Ohio girl. She has saved my butt endless times, and supported each crazy choice I have made. I might not say it enough, but thank you and I love you. And I promise you, just like Jimmy Chin promised his mom, I won't die before you do. Now on to the next adventure...