Anytime you call your parents at 2:20 am, the worst crosses their mind. But no, I wasn’t in jail, I hadn’t been in an accident and my house wasn’t on fire. I did, however, have food poisoning and I was certain I was on cusp of a trip to the ER.
It didn’t matter that I was 24.
It didn’t matter that I was living alone.
It didn’t matter that I was paying my own bills.
I wanted my mom. I needed my mom.
When she picked up that phone, I could feel fear in the sound of her breath. She herself was sick that she wasn’t there to help take care of me. My sweet mom began giving me recommendations of things she did when I was little to help ease bouts of nausea and vomiting.
“Did you put a cold rag on your neck?”, she asked. Then insisted, “Try to drink a little bit of gatorade and eat a saltine cracker.” Both of which I had been attempting for the past few hours without any relief. I began to cry but through the tears mustered, “I’ll be okay. I’m going to try and rest.” Without skipping a beat I heard her say, “Hang in there, lammy. I’ll be there soon.” Before her sentence could register with my incredibly fatigued mind she had hung up the phone, hopped in the car and proceeded to make the 1.5 hour drive to me in the dead of night.
I didn’t ask my mom to come to me; partially because her being on I-45 at that hour made me anxious, but more than that because I felt like I shouldn’t still need her help. Funny how life comes full circle – now that I have a daughter of my own, I long for the day I can bring calm to her chaos or help her find joy amidst pain. I long for her to find safety in my arms and my words. Why is that? Why do I look at her and pray she will know me as her home, but I push back against the idea that my mom is mine?
General consensus is that we all reach a time in our lives where we “outgrow” our parents. Society preaches a narrative that presses us to be independent; women especially should be resilient, brave, mature and capable. Needing our “mommy” goes against the very nature of what is flooding every corner of our influence. But what happens when we push against the norm? What happens when we choose to embrace our moms as our safe space instead of pushing them to the back burner?
Recently my dad passed away. When the funeral home came to pick up my dad’s body, it was as if that night replayed in my mind. Except this time the script read …
It doesn’t matter that I’m 33.
It doesn’t matter that I’m married.
It doesn’t matter that I have a daughter.
I want my mom. I need my mom.
Sure the take away could be, “We all want our moms when we’re sick.” Perhaps it could be, “My mom can make anything better.” Both of which, oftentimes, are true. But my moral of the story, is that we shouldn’t ever be ashamed to call upon our moms. Because I believe the old cliche still rings true – age is just a number.
With Love –