I’m the mom my mom warned about

By Helena Rodriquez: Freedom Newspapers

Sometimes it’s the little things about Mom: That annoying tone in her voice when she wants something. That wrong-size birthday gift. That “Someday when I’m no longer here” line, which gets old.

But the worse part is I’ve found myself doing and saying all of the above “mom things” to my own teenager daughter Laura lately. Really! I’ve become the mother my mom warned me about.

Help!

I can just hear her voice right now from across the other side of town, “Someday when you have children of your own….”

My mom and I don’t always see eye to eye on things and I’ve spent a lot of time over the past few years thinking about the things I didn’t have when I was growing up. But like I said above, sometimes it’s the little things about Mom, and it’s these little things that make her a nominee for the Mother of the Year Award.

Like the other day for instance, when totally out of the blue I get a call from some dude during finals week saying he has a stress packet for me that was ordered by my parents. I’m like, “Yeah right, you must have the wrong Helena Rodriguez” because I’m thinking to myself, “My parents never do things like that.”

Sure enough, I was the person he was looking for, but to be absolutely certain, I call Mom and she’s like, “Yeah, I ordered that for you last week.” So when I hung up the telephone I started getting all teary eyed because, like I said before, “My parents never do things like that.”

When I got the stress packet, it was nothing elegant — a plastic basket with little things to help me get through my college finals, necessities like peanut M&Ms, new ranch flavored Doritos, sugarless chocolate mints, lollipops, notepads and a can of Cherry Vanilla Dr Pepper to which Laura instantly claimed ownership. I’m sure the whole thing wasn’t worth more than $20, right Mom, particularly since I could not find any Vivarin in the basket. But to me it was priceless because, well, my parents never do things like that.

The note attached read: “We are very proud of you. We know it hasn’t been easy but you have not let that stand in your way. You go girl!” So then of course I get teary eyed again and start feeling bad for the times I’ve told Mom lately that I couldn’t do certain things because I had class or needed to study, which I did, but then at least now I know that she really did understand.

Then I started thinking about how blessed I am to have my mom because, well she’s not only Mom, she’s my mom. Of course I have to share her with four sisters and my dad, but she’s still my mom.

Sometimes I get upset because my parents never visit me. I just live across town, but still, I am their daughter. But then I started thinking about Raymond Barron, you know, on “Everybody Loves Raymond” and started counting my blessings. I could be worse. Mom could live next door and be visiting me every day, dropping in at the most inconvenient times. There would be no escaping her!

Like it says in the Good Book, “Don’t visit your neighbors (or daughters) too often or you will wear out your welcome.” Maybe that’s why it was so special when Mom, Dad and Grandma Chaya came to eat dinner at our house recently. Or maybe it was because of the lemon meringue pie I bought or maybe it was because of the delicious lasagna, which I made myself? No, I guess it was because Mom was there, and we didn’t even argue about President Bush that night.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!

Helena Rodriguez is a columnist for Freedom Newspapers of New Mexico. She can be reached at:
helena_rodriguez@link.freedom.com