a brief list of the things teenage me would like to say to my mother, or, the lies i told that you could see through:
Thank you for saving the Britney Spears letter. I’m sorry I started replacing them with dramatic letters left on your pillow. Thank you for knowing I never really wanted to be left alone, and for the lesson in being taken at one’s word.
I’ll always love Kenny Loggins. His voice sounds like early Food Network mornings on borrowed pillows.
The bathing suit shopping trips weren’t all bad- now we have shared trauma that binds us.
I wish I hadn’t used the lock on my door so often.
Thank you for lying about the mushroom cut and for not telling me how bad the bright pink Camden Market knockoff Ed Hardy tracksuit was. Thank you for the outfits I’m sure pained you to buy. I’m haunted by the ghosts of Ugg boots haunted by the ghosts of Juicy knee socks. They’ve taught me something about character building, I’m sure.
I’m sorry about the costumes. I’m not sorry about being the only one without lice.
I wish I had gone to lunch with you guys that day. No amount of time at The Lagoon was worth it.
Thank you for taking me away from everything I had ever known and loved, and showing me how much more there was to know and to love.
I’m sorry about all the money you wasted on softball. I appreciate the lengths you went to to keep up that illusion.
Thank you for not listening to me, for knowing that I was lying, for seeing underneath, for pretending that you didn’t. You have always been too smart for my own good.
There will soon be a day when a trip to Trader Joes feels like the best way to spend a day. I’ll drag my feet to King Kullen until then, so that it really feels like we’ve earned it.
My heart beats to the rhythm of that jaunty run you do when you want a driver waiting at a crosswalk to know that you see them.
One day, when you decide to become a director for your high school, you’ll tell me that all the good ideas you have are stolen from someone else. I will suddenly realize that I have been doing the same with you since I was old enough to know anything.
When I laugh at your use of “the rotation,” it’s because a part of me already knows I will only cook the same 6 things on repeat forever once I’ve left.
I make fun of your aphorisms, but one day I will discover that the voice in my head is not my conscience, but a woman sitting in the dark reading from the book of the advice you’ve been writing for me.
You’re my best friend. I will never tell you, because I’m a self-sabotaging teenager, but you are my best friend. In a few years from now, I will ache at the feeling of being away from you, find every and any reason to call you until you are so bored you hang up on me. I will consult you for every single thing and you will pretend to be annoyed but you’ll listen to me anyway. I’ll be sorry about that one date I didn’t tell you about but it’ll be because I knew you’d think he was a bore anyway, and because I knew what you would have said. I’ll be grateful for all the train talks and I will eventually write you a train play. I will preen under the words “I’m proud of you,” because in the end, it is all I ever wanted you to be.
Statistically, there are more mentions of my mother on this blog than anything else. This according to a study done by me, just now. Because she likes when I write. God knows that no amount of words on a page could stand against the years of silliness, not listening, fear of soccer balls, and need for name brand cereal, but this is what I have, mom, and everything I have I have because of you.