(1 min read)

My mom lives in her own world. She makes up a reality that makes sense to her. She collects pictures and objects that fill her home with voices to keep from realizing she’s alone, and that she’s been alone for most of her life.

I can’t think about this too much or I get sad. I’ve tried to rush in and be her whole world, to be everyone and everything for her. It’s been a while since that time and every once in a while I think about doing it again.

When I think about my childhood with my mom, it’s full of love and laughter and weirdness.

My mom went her own way, so that meant I collected different rules.

My mom routinely created outrageous situations where things were otherwise pretty boring – in places like banks and school buses and the sidelines of soccer games – and so I learned to be immune to humiliation and ridicule.

My mom could make a game out of anything. She always had something in her purse that we could fold into something else. She always had crayons and paper and tiny little metal things that just felt good in my hands while I waited in line.

My mom always ordered her waffle the same way – fresh strawberries not frozen, nuked for 30 seconds in the microwave, on the side, of course, in a separate bowl.

I often feel like I was brought up deep in the forest, around flowers no one’s ever seen, developing skills others don’t have, learning a completely different language, similar to the one everyone else knows but just a bit off so that no matter where I go or what situation I’m in, I’m always just a bit off. I sing my songs slightly off key, I dance a little off the beat.

And for this, I can’t thank my mom enough.

Thanks, mom.