Happy Birthday, Mom


Melissa Stagnaro

My mother’s birthday was yesterday. It was the first one I’ve gotten to spend with her in an awfully long time and, even though I spent a good deal of the day as slave labor, I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

Like most mothers and daughters, our relationship has had its tumultuous times. I remember her telling me that her mother had been her best friend, and that some day I’d feel that way, too. My adolescent and teenage years were just too clouded by hormones and angst to see it that way.

But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve come around. I truly appreciate her as the wise, wonderful woman and mother she is. And I consider myself incredibly lucky to be her daughter.

My mother has always been my moral compass, letting me know right and wrong with directives that consistently began with the phrase, “No daughter of mine…”

“No daughter of mine would use that kind of language.”

“No daughter of mine would be caught dead in that bar.”

“No daughter of mine would ever write about her family and post it on the internet.”

You get the picture. While I wish I could say that I no longer receive these lectures, it would be an out and out lie. I just got one last week.

Whether I agree with or follow her advice, I have to admit that she is usually right. (A lesson I’ve learned the hard way.) But regardless of my choices, I have always had her full support. She’s even makes a valiant effort not to rub it in when she’s proved correct. Again. Except for the whole happy dance thing.

Sure, sometimes we fall back into those old roles; me as the willful teenager and her as the exasperated mother. But never for long. We find too much happiness in spending time together, whether it’s playing golf, shopping or just talking.

At 33, I am proud to say that I love my mother with all of my heart, and that she is indeed my best friend. I treasure the time we spend together. My greatest wish in life is to make her proud. And to age as gracefully as she has.

Happy Birthday, Mom.