My Mom and Me This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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I look out our kitchen window on a hot, sunny, summer morning. I drink my orange juice with ice cubes while I sit at the small kitchen table in my bathing suit and sandals. My mom sits across from me clipping coupons and sipping iced tea.

My mom looks young and pretty and I often find myself hoping that I’ll grow to look more like her. Something about her is fresh and young, healthy. We’re talking, as we usually do, about the things that we normally talk about – friendships, pressures, and love. She tells me for the millionth time that she hates the small silver hoop in my upper right ear. The earring which goes along with my small beaded necklace that carries on it my favorite symbol – the Christian fish, which stands for the sea, love and peace. I sit with my daisy ring, my beaded anklet, my loose blonde hair tucked behind my ears; the flowered bikini I wear, the tattered red backpack next to me, with my hand-drawn dancing bears. My backpack contains my clothes and CDs – Grateful Dead, The Band, Chicago.

This is me, this is what I’m all about, and my mom knows this. She calls me her crazy little hippie and her nature girl, but I know she is laughing inside because she too was all this when she was young, and even now I still see fragments of what used to be.

My mom tucks her blond, blond hair behind her ears, her bright green eyes and tan face. Her tall, willowy figure not hidden by make-up. We talk together, freely. She says she trusts me; she tells me she loves me. And I think how I trust her and love her too. We speak of love and broken hearts. She tells me it will get better, that the hurt will subside. We laugh at my friends and the things that they do when silently we agree that nothing would be the same if they were not there. We talk of athletics, she tells me she’s proud. She’s proud of the way I push my body to its limits. She’s proud that I am not afraid to sweat or get dirty.

As we talk, I ask my mom about her teenage years, the handsome boyfriend she had in high school. I ask her about Nettie, her best friend and soulmate who had long blond hair and tell me about the crazy things they did, and how she will never forget their friendship. She tells me that my best friend Ann-Marie reminds her so much of Nettie and I, too, realize the similarities, both physically and emotionally. She tells me of her summers on an island during college, where she used to “hang” with my dad until they eventually fell in love.

Every once in a while our opinions clash and tension grows, but eventually it eases and another subject is swiftly clued in. I sometimes wish that I could go back in time to meet her when she, too, was young, opinionated, and wild. But it is here and now, and I realize how lucky I am to know her and have her as a mother. She smiles and laughs because I’ve zoned out. She says she knows me well. Perhaps she sees herself in me, hopefully she does. I get up to refill my glass but on my way over to the fridge I stop to look at my mother who sits in a bathing suit and sandals in some sort of a daze, looking out the kitchen window.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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