I don't know if I will have time to write tomorrow because it's my birthday. I probably have it listed on the 15th on google + just because I am paranoid about putting my accurate birthday online, which makes no sense because I am writing this post and telling everyone my actual birth date and then sharing with the world.....oh well no one ever said I had to make sense.
This post is called Mama because of course not only is my Mama the reason I am here but also because tomorrow is also my Mama's birthday. I was born thirty four years ago on her twenty first birthday in a semi-little town in Texas.
It may seem weird for a grown woman to call her mother, Momma but as a southern girl we all call our parents the same childhood names we called them as children no matter how old we get. It is not unusual to overhear a fifty year old call her parents Mama and Daddy. You usually start off calling them Mommy and Daddy and at some point you change it to Mamma and Daddy. It is just how things are done down there.
To share a birthday with someone you are extremely close to, for me, has been a blessing. I know no matter where we are or how far apart we may have been, that she remembers our birthday. She was always the first one to call me and wish me happy birthday. The first to send a card. The first to show up at my door. Which makes perfect sense because she was the first person to feed me and hold me. She is after all, my Momma.
There are few things in life that have the bond like between mother and child. As a mother myself I can now better appreciate the sacrifices she made for me. The unbending will to stand up for me. To stand beside me no matter the consequence. To be there for me at anytime in any situation.
She taught me so many things about myself and honestly she is there with me every step of the way, as I continue to learn. She was the first to recognize my mental illness. The first one to get me help. The first one to sit me down and be completely honest and open with me. We have that kind of relationship where I can ask her anything without fear of judgment or embarrassment.
She was the one who went to my high school and confronted the scariest principal on the planet because I have dyslexia and couldn't remember correctly my address. The principal scolded me for an hour calling me a liar and my mother a fraud in front of other students and didn't let me go until I started to cry. My mother went there and totally made the principal so uncomfortable that for the rest of my time in that high school the principal made a point to wave to me in hallway and to be extra nice. My mother would put up with a lot of things but messing with me was not one of them. I have no doubt that she would walk on burning coals or broken bits of glass and not bat an eye if it were to protect me. I feel the same way about my children and I believe that unwavering lack of fear is something she passed down to me or instilled in me.
She put aside her PTSD, Bipolar disorder, and Lupus to take care of me. To go to my singing concerts. To show up at any school function no matter how horrid she felt. To drive me and my friends to the mall. Many times when I had a panic attack and couldn't go to school she would drive me on a very long drive and we would get KFC and talk. Not just mindless drivel but actual real conversations.
She taught me when to be a lady and when it was okay to be not so ladylike. She taught me when to bide my time and keep my head down and when to stand up and not take crap from someone. She taught me the importance of learning a big vocabulary. She taught me that just because we were on welfare we could still present ourselves the way we wanted to be viewed. Many times she went without just so I could have something. She taught me to be compassionate and kind. She taught me to believe in myself. She taught me to independent and strong. She is strong and beautiful, and unique. She is after all my Momma.
So tomorrow we are going to do what has been our tradition for ten years. We are going to get all gussied up, break out the high heels and dust off the dresses, slap on some war paint, curl our hair and go to dinner. No one else just me and her. We are going to eat and laugh and be silly. We are going to be ourselves and share our bond. No longer just a bond between child and mother but a bond that has strengthened as two women who are so magnificently alike. A bond of two people that have been not just parent and child but also the closest of friends. My rock and hand holder. The woman who kissed my scraped knees and told me when I was being a completely know it all angst ridden teenager. The woman who hugged me but had no fear of grounding me. The woman who made sure I knew she was proud of me in all of my endeavors and always supported my decisions even if they weren't very good ones. The woman who taught me how to paint my nails and put on make up. The woman who let me traipse around her too big of shoes and play in her closet as a child. The woman who gave me my first perm (think Reba McIntyre early eighties) and taught me the importance of wearing a bra. The woman who taught me how to shave my legs and manage not to cut off any appendages while doing so (I am still working on that).The woman who stood up for me and held me when my mental illness was at it's worst. My confidant. The woman who sent me care packages from 1500 miles away when my depression was at it's lowest and I thought of ending it all. The woman who was there in both birthing rooms and held my hand as I cried out in pain. Because she is amazing and there is no one else on earth I would rather share my birth date with. She is my Momma after all. I love her, I respect her, and I am grateful that she is in my life and always has been.