My mom, my friend
My mom and stepdad came to visit over Mother's Day weekend.
They live in southern Michigan ... they got lost and ended up in Kokomo.
Yeah, I don't know, either.
Anyway, it was the best gift I could have gotten.
I don't really realize how much I miss my mom until I'm with her for a while. She and I went through some really rough spots over the years -- there were times I didn't think we'd ever recover.
But we did, and now I can't imagine my life without her in it.
My mom and I are very, very different mothers. My mom was very involved with our pursuits, very energetic.
I tend to watch my kids from a distance. I'm not one to coach or be on committees.
My mom chaperoned dances and taught all our friends how to do the Monkey.
My mom worked full-time, so I can't use the excuse that I have a job and she didn't.
My mom loved nothing more than when her house was filled to the rafters with our friends.
Large groups of children -- and by that I mean three or more -- make me nervous.
When I was a teenager, I had a smart mouth (that must really surprise those of you who know me well). I questioned authority and got myself into a lot of trouble.
More than once, through my teens and early 20s, my mother must have had to talk herself out of selling me.
My mom and I had a lot of scuffles in regard to my daughter.
Through my pregnancy with Dani and on and off through the time she was 8 years old, Dani and I lived with my parents. Hence, their relationship with her was very parent-like rather than grandparent-like in some respects.
My mother and I often struggled with who was Dani's mother. I wanted to mother the way I wanted to mother, and my mom wanted me to do things her way.
I've also always been flighty. I tend to be a scatterbrain, and I get bored with things and projects easily, rarely finishing things.
My life is full of clutter and chaos, and I am not much of a housekeeper (thank God for my husband).
This has always driven my mother, a compulsive neat freak, out of her tree.
But now that I'm really grown, my mom and I are finally to the point where I consider her my friend. She is a calming influence in my life; she truly cares about me and what happens to me.
She adores my husband and children.
We call each other three or four times a week, just to talk.
I look back and realize how many times my mom could have just washed her hands of me ... but she hung in there with me.
She knew there was good in me, and that eventually it was going to come out.
She saw things in me I didn't see in myself.
I love my mom so very much, and I love it when she comes to visit.
I hope she realizes how grateful I am for the gift of her love.
Jamie Barrand is the editor of the Banner Graphic.