By Haley Harvey
From the moment you become a fresh new life in the world, she sings “Love you Forever” as you sleep, changes you when you are wet, holds you while you cry. You are her daughter, her world.
She is your mother.
To the moment you break your wrist at daycare, she holds you as you cry your pain-inflicted tears your second grade self just can’t hold back. You bury your face in her shoulder and feel her warm embrace and know the comfort she brings.
She is your protector.
To the moments you spend arguing about your curfew, who she doesn’t want you to hang out with, when she grounds you. You storm upstairs, door slamming behind you. She knocks, asks to come in and promises it’s all because she loves you. She holds you even though you’re not ready to play nice yet.
She is so unfair.
To the moment you go on a date with a boy you like, and he later decides he doesn’t feel the same anymore. She holds you as you cry, and tells you he’s the one who’s missing out on something special.
She is your assurance.
To the moment you open that acceptance letter to the University of Oklahoma, your dream school. Her alma mater, she finds comfort in the familiarity of that. She holds you, as you can hardly contain your excitement of starting the next chapter in life and being on your own. The slowly-creeping dread of eventually having to let you go is suppressed for now, she is so proud of you.
She is your biggest fan.
To the moment she drops you off in your tiny, stale and unfamiliar dorm. The time she has dreaded for years, months, minutes has come. It’s time to say goodbye, to let go. You hold her as she cries.
She is a basket case.
To the moment you go through rush, pledging the same sorority she did, sharing a new kind of bond and feeling closer despite the distance apart. You get settled into your new classes, friends, life. You love it here.
She is happy.
To the unexpected moment you find that loneliness arrives at your old, metal door with more frequency than anticipated. An unwelcome and persistent guest, inviting itself in without knocking at all first. You call her. To talk about anything and everything, the breakfast you ate, the paper you aced, the test you failed, the bed that you miss, the time with her you long for again.
She is your best friend.
To the moment you learn she wasn’t always the composed and unfailing woman you’ve always known. Once she was a wild girl, a rebel that you’d never truly know but would only hear about. Yet you’d share a lot of the same experiences, in the same places, learning and growing from them.
To the moment you’re living in the sorority house, following the rules as if your life depends on it — strict rule-follower. She skipped chapter meetings and smoked cigarettes in the back stairway — blatant rule-breaker. When you get your first judiciary board hearing after being intoxicated at a date party, you’re filled with embarrassment and shame. You feel like a disgrace for your mistake. But you see her picture every time you walk past the 1993 composite photos on the third floor, and you smile. She reminds you that it’s OK to make mistakes because college is where they’re acceptable, laughable even.
To the moment you move out of the sorority house, and you’re living on campus with three of your best friends. Like when she lived in a little house on the corner of Chautauqua and Lindsey with three of her closest friends. You imagine the friendships you hold so close are comparable to those she had and still has from her college years. The ones that become family, seeing you at your best, your worst and still loving you. The ones you share irreplaceable memories with, the late nights, the mess-ups, the break-ups, the hysterical laughs. All on your own individual journey of figuring out life, figuring out yourself.
To the moment when it’s your first summer in Norman. You meet a boy the summer before junior year at a house across the street from your mom’s little house on the corner. It’s the same year in college that she met your dad. It was the summer of ‘94 they shared their first kiss on the big rock under the tree in front of that same little house. The same summer they said “I love you,” and never looked back.
To the moment you wonder what moments will come next. You pave your own path the rest of your time in college, hoping for what’s to come and trusting in God’s plan for you. Just as she did during her time at OU and beyond. She celebrated victories, learned from mistakes. She was successful. With her career, her marriage, her family. She made a life for herself, a happy one. You spend your college life in ways so similar, most purely by chance, and it shows you can do the same for yourself. You will.
Through all these moments you realize she is everything. Everything and more you hope you can be for others. For your children, one day. For her.
She is your protector, assurance, basket case, biggest fan. Your best friend.
She is my mother.