Mom, It’s Time We Talk

I am going to be honest with you guys. I might be a selfish person. There are many days when I get the sudden urge to pick up the phone and call my mom to tell her one quick thing. Okay, I’ll admit it, this actually happens every day. More often than not, the reasons I call my mom include softening the blow before she finds out that I might have spent a bit too much money on takeout and ranting about a bad day that I have had and hanging up right after. I never truly ask her how she feels, what she wants, or what can I do to support her bad days. So right here, right now, I am telling you to go call your mom. Not for yourself, but for her. It’s about time, Leilani. It’s about time.

In some way your mother has carried you, whether it be in her uterus or in her arms. For that, I am already thankful; I was one chunky baby. But Mom, it is time I tell you that I am thankful for everything else that you have done as well, because that everything else is a whole lot. As I reflect on the countless ways you continue to carry me, both literally and metaphorically, I am overwhelmed by a profound sense of gratitude. From the earliest days of my existence, you carried me within your very being, nourishing and protecting me with an unwavering devotion. The weight of responsibility you willingly shouldered to bring me into this world is a testament to the depth of your love.

It is not just in the physical realm, however, that your carrying sustains me. Emotionally, you have been the pillar that holds me steady in the face of life’s challenges. You’ve taken away my worries, fears, and doubts, providing a safe haven where I can confide in you without judgment or hesitation. Your embrace has always been a sanctuary where I find solace and reassurance. In your role as my mentor, you carry the weight of shaping my character and instilling values that will guide me throughout my journey. With patience and wisdom, you’ve shared your experiences, offering invaluable lessons and perspectives that shape my understanding of the world. You carry the task of helping me navigate the complexities of life, equipping me with the tools I need to make sound decisions and forge my own path. Selflessly, you bear the burdens of parenthood, setting aside your own desires and aspirations to prioritize my well-being. Your sacrifices, often unseen and unacknowledged, are the foundation upon which my dreams are built. Without you I would not even be at Andover. But I would like you to know that I see them. I see you. And I’m sorry that it took so long for me to say so.

I will be the first to say that sometimes, it is not the easiest to communicate with a guardian. Conversations have to be reciprocal, though both sides may not agree on the same topic. They should never be about control or subjugation, but about respect. For some parents and children it is hard to acknowledge this. Sometimes the best course of action is to walk away. But we need to be willing to work with them and help them put their best food forward so that we can foster and nurture a mutually beneficial connection. And that starts with a simple call. 

Your mom wants to know that you are not starving to death. She wants to know about your choral concert or your chamber performance. Sometimes as students who go to this big boarding school, we feel all strong and independent, but that does not mean that there are not people back home that worry about your well-being and happiness. So call your mom. Attempt to maintain and perhaps strengthen the bond that you have with your mother despite — or taking advantage of — the distance that may be between you. Tell her about your successes, your failures, your stories, and your memories. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to remind her that you are there for her, too.

I am here for you, Mom.