“My mom doesn’t listen to me. She thinks she just knows what’s best.” “My mom is making me pay for my entire college tuition, but I have to go to the school of her choice.” “She doesn’t have time for me - her boyfriends are more important.” My friends have made all these comments about their mothers, and every time I found myself unable to relate. My mom does everything within her ability to give me the best life I can possibly experience. Because of her endless patience, dedication and love, she is my hero.
I can always bring my everyday problems to my mom. She listens to my rambling “he-said, she-said” stories and never judges my feelings. She taught me to look at problems from all points of view, and know that those views count. Mom will also call attention to my actions: “If you tell a friend to stop gossiping behind your back, you better not be saying anything bad about anyone.” I’ve learned she isn’t afraid to call my bluff and will make the consequences of selfish actions exceedingly clear.
My mom shows me the lessons hidden in even small obstacles. I have a tough time accepting that I strongly dislike certain people and need to move on. She points out, “There will always be someone you won’t get along with, you might as well learn to deal with that now.” Often she’ll relate her own experiences, and by being open about her life, I know I can confide in her. Admitting her mistakes affords me the luxury of choice. I can learn the hard way (as she did), or do differently.
Opportunities are endless with an understanding mom. When I started the college hunt, she was by my side searching through the piles of mail and collecting information from everyone we knew. I’ve never felt the pressure of tuition costs, even though they are a concern. Mom hasn’t ruled out private colleges because of the expense or out-of-state colleges because I’d be too far away. I have room to make my own decision about a college, but am secure knowing she’ll back me in whatever I chose.
Even though Mom gives me a lot of room to make choices, she’s always there to supervise academics, the state of my bedroom and my attitude. Bounding off the bus from kindergarten with an “A” crayon drawing in hand and receiving praise from Mom meant more to me than any treat or amount of money. The pride she instilled in me to do my best is what motivates me. With my tendency to focus on the negative, Mom gave me a journal in which to write five things every day that I am grateful for. It has helped me think about how lucky I am.
I feel the most important thing my mom has taught me is to care about others. She has a sensitive nature and passed on her example to me. Her awareness of that has made her treat others as she wants to be treated. I try to follow her example, taking the few extra minutes to help someone pick up dropped books, giving up my seat to an older person, and being respectful of my friends’ concerns.
My mother is a hero because of her kindness, understanding, generosity and wisdom. My wish is to give my children the opportunities and dedication my mom gave to me.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.