I was 9 when my dad died. Throughout the years, I’ve often heard my mom express her determination to make sure that my sister and I “turned out okay.” There was, and maybe still is, a stigma that a single parent can’t raise successful, happy children. That maybe their kids will be missing something.
My mom is my best friend. I think her, my sister, and I have a relationship that is entirely special. Friends often comment that we’re like Lorelei and Roryx2. And honestly, I can see some similarities, but between you and me, my mom is way better than Lorelei Gilmore.
When I was 2, she marched up to the local public school to enrol me in Kindergarten. It sounds laughable to anyone but me, because I can see my mom standing there perfectly confused. “She knows her abcs, she can count, she wants to learn to read, I can’t teacher her to read, just take her!” (Or so she says that’s what she said to them.) Now that I’m raising my own gifted kiddo, it makes me laugh. I can’t help but admire her lady balls! She knew better than they did what I needed. Luckily, with my sister she had more luck, and found a great Montessori school for her at 3. She just knew we needed more, and she gave it to us, damn what other people think! If she ever questioned her mama instincts, she never let it influence her actions.
Instead, she signed me up for dance lessons. I would like to wonder if she ever regrets that decision, all of the thousands of dollars and lost hours and hours of her life later, but I know that she would say no. She drove me to the studio (my little sister in tow) sometimes 5 or 6 days a week. She cheered me on at dance competitions, took me and my best friend to New York City to take classes at Broadway Dance Studio, and sat through numerous recitals. When I made Team Canada with both my studio and as a soloist, and my group went on to win gold at world’s, it was just as much her accomplishment as it was mine. She would never take credit for it, but really, it was. If I didn’t have her to spend the time and money, and many parents wouldn’t have, or wouldn’t have been able to, I wouldn’t have had those experiences. In fact, every mother’s day throughout my teenage years was spent at a hotel for, you guessed it, a dance competition.
My mom was the original Pinterest mom. If blogging had been a thing in the 90s, she would have put us all to shame. Our birthday parties were themed to our heart’s content, and she made beautiful cakes without any help from a YouTube video. She was creative and crafty, even now with her grandson. I mean, how many other grandmas would turn their living room into a raft so that they could play Moana?