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

     Of the countless meals prepared for me, my mother has never made a bad one. Without following any particular recipe, my mother can throw together random items to create a completely satisfying masterpiece.

Considering I have half her genetic chromosomes, you would expect I might be the same way. The one time I voluntarily tried to create a spaghetti dish, I managed to burn my chin checking the status of boiling pasta, turn the meatballs into mush, and over-season the tomato sauce. The state of the kitchen afterward was even worse than the taste of the meal. My mother, tolerant and patient, kindly forked the poor excuse for a dinner into her mouth and never commented on its taste.

In another hopeless attempt to teach me basic household skills, my mother and I entered a heated dispute over sewing. After carefully instructing me in how to hem pants, I refused to give the extra millisecond to hide the stitch. Not only did I ultimately mess up the sewing, I also managed to start a petty fight over something I could have easily prevented with more patience. It wouldn’t have taken much energy to do the extra stitch, and soon after this sewing dilemma, the horrible truth dawned on me: my mom was right.

That’s the thing I hate about mothers. No matter how you try to deny it, they really are always right. During almost every disagreement, in the back of my mind, I know she’s right.

I reaffirmed this at about the same time I finally understood my mother. Until a few years ago, I considered her illogical and insensitive, especially when she warned me not to date until I was old enough to take care of myself. She always would ask, “If you can’t take care of yourself, how do you expect to take care of a relationship?”

After I ignored her warning and emerged from a relationship with a heavy heart, she was the first to comfort me. She let me know that my heartbreak was exactly why she hadn’t wanted me getting into a relationship in the first place.

Finally finding common ground with my mother, I see many qualities I hope I inherited, including her wisdom, patience and heart. I may not be able to make delectable meals or be meticulous enough to hem pants correctly, but I hope to have taken some of the more important qualities, the ones I see so prominently in mine.

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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