Saturday, August 30

An Unlikely Friendship

If you'd told me when I was ten years old that one day I would count my mother as one of my best friends, I would have laughed at you. Back then we were fighting constantly about what I wanted to wear, who I wanted to spend time with and when I wanted to do it. I remember one fight that took place in the stairwell of our old house where I threw my hairbrush at her and she threw it back at me and I told her I was going to report her for child abuse. Totally absurd. I don't remember what the fight was about, I just remember hating her guts and wanting to hurt her emotionally by saying that.

We went through that mother/daughter fighting period early. Most of my friends were doing it in high school, but by that point Mom and I had bonded and had a new common enemy (though perhaps that is too strong a word): my dad, who, after years of emotional abandonment had to decided he would finally pick up and leave. I don't know that I could say my mom and I were really friends yet though. I was basically just letting her take care of me because aside from the Dad thing, I was going through some other tough times. Probably the worst year for both of us was my freshman year of college when I would call her drunk and crying. I didn't realize for a few years how much that put through. My mom is a saint.

I dropped out of college after that year and had a couple crazy years before finally pulling my act together and moving back home to finish my bachelor's degree. I lived with my mom while I did that and saved to buy my own place. When I moved out, that's when the real friendship kicked in. We started doing things together, not because we lived in the same house, not because I desperately needed her company, but because we wanted to hang out together. We even have our own "thing" now. Diners and road trips are my "thing" with my best friend. My thing with Mom? Gardening.

My mom loves to garden and was eager to help me develop little patches of garden around the sides of my townhouse. She's taught me so much and it gives us a great opportunity to talk while we work. Now that she is living in a condo, she doesn't have her own garden. So it's nice to know that after all the years of temper tantrums in my tweens and troubled behavior in my teens, I can give my mom the gift of her favorite form of relaxation. I'm actually waiting for her to come over now to help me tame the weeds that are always overwhelming this little patch out front that we work so hard on:

Unfortunately no one takes our pictures while gardening (and we get so dirty we wouldn't want them to!), so here we are at my graduation from graduate school, looking like happy BFFs:

What about you are you at a point of friendship with either or both of your parents? What is your "thing" with them?

Oh and PS. If you want to read about a very cool mom, check out my Women Who Rock Wednesday guest, Rebecca Woolf!


Alyson Noel said...

Oh, I love this post! And I can totally relate in so many ways . . .
My thing with my mom is breakfast at The Pancake House (NOT to be confused with the House of Pancakes!), followed by a trip to the bookstore since she's the one who incited my love of books and encouraged my writing. And then we go back to her house and hang out in the living room talking about books, life, politics, EVERYTHING!
She's definitely one of my main BFFs!

TJ Brown said...

In a way I am envious... I love my Mom but she isn't my best friend, though I'm certain she thinks we are. I give her that impression because its so important to her. No, I have that relationship with my daughter. Right now, she's busy, being 17, but we make time to hang out and do things together because it's important to us. I hope we're always this close.

Wendy Toliver said...

Great post! I love the photo. You're both so beautiful and the love is so strong between the two of you. My mom is definitely one of my best friends.

Gerb said...

Very cool post. Good thing moms love us long enough to get past the teenage/college years, huh? Love the picture.

Stephanie Kuehnert said...

Thanks for sharing mother/daughter stories, guys! And yes, Gerb, we are so lucky that our moms love us through those tough years!

Sara Hantz said...

Fab post..... I wouldn't call my mum one of my best friends, but we do have a special relationship.... like the time we both got done for drinking in a nightclub on a Sunday night when their licence didn't cover Sundays - we didn't know (scary when it got raided, let me tell you). Actually she didn't get charged only I did because she had a soft drink!!!!

Kelly Parra said...

I am good pals with my mom, I never had a sister so we've often leaned on each other growing up and still today!