Mother - Debbie B. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

By
     “Don’t mess with the mama!” That’s the number-one thing I remember my mom telling me when I was little. I’m 17 now and she still says it, but she means don’t talk back or be rude.

My mom and I have been inseparable since day one. She quit the optical business when I was born to stay home with me. We lived in Florida for most of my childhood, and my dad worked on the beach. At least once a week, my mom and her best friend would load us into the minivan to visit our dads at work and spend the day playing in the Gulf. Other days, Mom and I would go to our neighborhood park, where she taught me how to jump off the swings. She would sit in our garage on hot summer days and be my rebounder while I shot baskets at my Little Tikes basketball hoop.

When I went to pre-school, my mom began babysitting for two children and I learned she could care for someone other than me, her only child. It also gave me the chance to share and interact with other children, which was important.

My mom always made a big deal about holidays. Whether Halloween, Christmas, or just the changing of the seasons, she had decorations. The biggest deal was Halloween, when Mom would put spider webs in the bushes around our house, decorate the door, and play scary music out the window. Every year, she would dress up in a crazy costume and walk me around the neighborhood in the annual Halloween parade.

Mom also was really into Christmas, and she made it so magical. I remember waking up to Christmas carols playing loudly and the video camera right in my face catching my every move. I still expect her to wake me up at 5:45 a.m. this way.

After my mom’s father died, and my dad lost his job, we moved to Kentucky to be with family. Mom made sure I went to a good school, had friends, and spent plenty of time with my family. She even brought me and my newly widowed grandmother closer; we both needed someone because our lives had just changed drastically, so we began hanging out together every Saturday.

Throughout the years, my mom and I have fought about many things, from my decision to switch schools in eighth grade to my not cleaning my room. Sure, there were a couple of “I hate yous” in there, but they were always immediately followed by “I’m sorry” and “I love you.” As I grew older, the arguments changed, too. Now they are about where I will go to college, if I have gas in my car, or if I need to stay in this weekend. But one thing I learned through all the arguing is that we will always love each other.

A few years ago, I learned what a strong woman my mom really is. In December 2004, her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Three days later, my dad told her he was being deployed to Bahrain for a year to fight the war on terror. That March, her brother died. The next December, she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and during surgery, one of her vocal cords was cut, so she lost her voice. Then, just this past December, she had a tracheotomy. Now, we are waiting for her to have laser vocal cord surgery. All of this has shown me that life can throw anything at my mother, but nothing will keep her down.

My mom is an amazing woman. She can provide me with lasting memories and be a pain with her arguments, stubbornness, and the need to control everything, but she can also teach me to be strong. The world should now know, “don’t mess with the mama.”

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






Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback