With Mother’s Day coming up on Sunday, I’d like to say that my mom is pretty great.
She’s awesome for a lot of reasons. First of all, she carried me for nine months inside of her own body, which was super-generous of her (and also completely necessary, yes, but I still feel like she deserves credit). She taught me about baseball and is the reason I’m a huge Cleveland Indians fan. My mom has moved her first four kids in and out of college thirty-two times—and none of our dorm rooms were ever on the first floor of the building. She encourages me when I have a hard time believing in myself, and she’s the most dependable early-morning workout partner I’ve ever had.
I tell her almost everything and ask her for advice on a lot of different topics, but despite our regular conversations, we haven’t had many opportunities to talk about guys and relationships. It’s not that I don’t want her insight; I just didn’t date much during my teenage years, and because that trend has carried over into my twenties, there’s not much to talk about.
She could try to bring up my love life all the time if she wanted to. She could ask her friends to set me up with their sons or nephews, regardless of whether I’m interested or not. If she wanted to press the issue, she could point out that all of my friends are either engaged or married, and that some are already having babies. But she doesn’t dig for information that isn’t there, and she doesn’t try to stir up trouble. And that’s one of the things I appreciate most about our relationship.
My mom has never made me feel like something is wrong with me despite my lacking love life. Even in junior high and the first two years of high school, when it seemed like all of my friends had boyfriends, she didn’t make a big deal about it. She never implied that I should try flirting or go out more. She had a lot more faith than I did that someone would ask me out before high school ended. And when a nice boy finally did ask me out during sophomore year, and I suddenly wasn’t so sure that I could openly like someone, she wisely encouraged me to give the guy a chance.
But that was a long time ago, and my social calendar has been relatively quiet for a while now. I wouldn’t blame her if she were a little worried about my siblings or me never settling down. Each of us has only had one or two serious relationships with very little dating in between. I know she’d like to have grandchildren, yet I’ve never heard her say, “You need to hurry up and make me some grandkids!” I think that’s partly because we would totally make fun of her for saying something so outdated and partly because she trusts that we’ll each know when we’ve met the right people.
Although I haven’t given her much material to work with, I think my mom has helped my love life by letting me figure out who I am at my own pace and for my own benefit. She knows I’ll be my best in a relationship only if I first like myself as an individual, and she knows that no amount of meddling could speed up the process. I don’t know if gratitude alone is a good enough Mother’s Day gift for all of her patience and understanding, though, so maybe I’ll throw in some baseball tickets.
Thanks, Ms. Phoenix, for the lovely image!
Megan S. is an associate editor at Dating & Hookup. She's a big fan of pop culture, comedy and essay collections (but just a regular fan of any sport that isn't softball or golf).
datingandhookup.com is a website that explores modern romance in the Millennial era – which, let’s be honest, looks nothing like we were taught to expect. We feature essays, advice and social commentary with humor, compassion and brains, and we vow never, ever to publish a piece called “The 10 Best Ways to Satisfy Your Man in Bed”. Do click to submit your work to us. We love you.
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