15 years ago (gosh, I’m old) I was sitting in the backseat of my family’s car on the way home from basketball practice. I was 12 and had just started getting my period. I was cramped, grumpy, and hating the fact that I felt like no one should bleed like I was unless they’d been stabbed. My mom was driving and it was just her and me. Naturally she chose that exact moment to have the worst talk that my pre-teen self could have imagined. Basically, my mom said something about staying clean and that if anything bad happened to come and tell her. I hope that Tiffany got a similarly awkward chat while locked in a moving vehicle.
Who knew that four years after that I would shamelessly put a post-it on our refrigerator reminding me to take my birth control pill every morning? Maybe my mom did. It certainly didn’t phase her when my sister sister declared that she needed “plugs” and started dancing down the tampon aisle singing the “dam stopper” song. Actually, not much has phased my mom over the years as she’s raised my sister and I.
I have no idea why I’m remembering that uncomfortable puberty talk today. It’s my mom’s birthday today! She’s 48 and looks like she’s in her 30’s. I can only hope that I’ll grow up to be a taller version of her and continue to age like she does.
So here I am, an ocean away from the woman who birthed me and all I’m thinking about is a weird conversation I had with her when I first got my period. Except now that I’m older, I’m happy she had that talk with me. She opened a dialogue that made me feel safe to talk about…everything. I bet when she had that talk with me she never imagined that one day my bare ass would be hanging out our car window while she sped down the highway home because I felt like going mooning that day. She probably didn’t see it coming when I decided to vajazzle myself and had an allergic reaction to the glue and now have a heart shaped scar on my inner thigh. But she’s been there through it all. Whether the moments were incredibly funny, awkward, painful, or so comfortable that I was snoring in the front seat, my mom has been there. She’s my best friend, my protector, and everything that an awesome mom should be!
Which is why today all I want to do is wish her a happy birthday. She’s another year more amazing and a part of me can’t believe that another year of memories have come and gone with her. My mom deserves a constellation to be named in her honor. Instead I’ve sent home a small gift that I picked up on my shenanigans here in Wales.
With all of that said:
Happy birthday, momma! I love you double, triple and as many stars in the skies. I love you forever and ever and beyond that. I hope that this year is better than the last and is full of moments where you laugh until it hurts.
Also: If you go into my room and look on my bookshelf where the ducks are, sister and I hid one of your birthday presents there.