There are now 5 other friends living with me and Nathan, and to celebrate, we had a housewarming party this weekend. In fact, we were so excited to celebrate, we decided to have two. One was for our friends, and one was for our families. At the party for our families, Nathan, Paul, Conrad and I were trying to get Jillian, the three-year-old daughter of one of our neighbors, to talk with us. At some point, they asked her how old she was, and she showed them with her fingers without saying a word.
“I don’t remember anything from when I was three years old,” Nathan told her.
I then proceeded to say that I did, and it was mostly memories of watching my mom exercise to Richard Simmons videos and together watching episodes of Magnum P.I. It was pretty great. You may think it’s a weird thing, but I think the uniqueness of those experiences reflects a bit of the uniqueness of our relationship.
As I grew up, my mom and I were never really close, but we were never distant, either. I’ve always had too many things I appreciated about her that have only increased as I get older and have adapted some of those things in my own way:
- Her openness and flexibility. My mom is so chill. She might think you’re weird for doing something a certain way, but she goes with it, more so if it makes sense or she understands your reasoning. Heck, she encouraged me and Nathan to elope instead of going through the fuss of planning a wedding. Now that’s a chill mom. I think she serves people really well with her ability to be open and flexible.
- Her immense knowledge of culture and history. My mom may be less than 5 feet tall, but boy, the amount of information she can hold in her brain could probably orbit around the sun several times. Math, science, and business may not be her strong suits, but I love tapping into my mom’s rich world of history, old movies, plays, literature, art, food, language, and so much more. You should experience what it’s like when she watches an episode of Jeopardy while she cooks and gives the question to the answer before Alex even calls on a contestant. It’s amazing.
- Her hospitality, especially through food. “The House of Chan is open for business!” my mom will sometimes say when she offers food to guests who weren’t planning on having food in the first place. More often than not, when my mom is baking something really interesting or cooking up a storm, she is doing it to feed other people. It was always more of a surprise when she’d actually bake something for our family.
- Her desire for creativity. My mom is the one who taught me to think outside the box the most. With every homework assignment, every school project, she’d always remind me to try and go above and beyond what was expected of me. Why settle for doing the same old plain stuff that 10 other people have already done before? Where’s the fun in that?
Those two years of being home with just my mom while my two older sisters were at school were pretty formative in my relationship with my mom. I guess it also helps that I’m “her baby,” as she so warmly reminds me ever once in while.