Mother knows best (all the time)

The Progress-Index Weekend - - LIFESTYLES -

I’ll come right out and say it: I have the best mom in the world. It's go­ing to be re­ally hard to ex­plain why given the space that I have, but I'll try.

I know a lot of strong women, but she’s eas­ily the strong­est woman I know. She’s bal­anced what seems like 80 mil­lion dif­fer­ent things at once, along with rais­ing me, by her­self, and she’s al­ways made sure

I was set. The few times I’ve ever seen her cry were truly dev­as­tat­ing, but she bounces back with re­siliency that lets you know she’s a fighter.

Also, my mom is just a bril­liant woman. I can’t re­call the last time she’s been wrong about some­thing. She’s got far bet­ter judg­ment than I could ever hope to have, and even when I’m 99.98% sure about some­thing and she’s 99.99% sure about the op­po­site, I lis­ten to her. Be­cause, let’s face it, she ends up be­ing right.

She knows how much my friends mean to me, and she’s treated them like they’re her own. Af­fec­tion­ately called “Mama Magee” by my them, she’s of­fered them ad­vice, given out mom hugs when their own par­ents were too far away, and even dis­trib­uted goodie bags for hol­i­days when she’d visit me in col­lege.

Per­haps the most im­por­tant as­pect for me is that she never made me feel like I was any­thing less than the best kid in the world. I was typ­i­cally a pretty bright, well-be­haved child, but I dealt with quite a bit of bul­ly­ing when I was younger and in­fe­ri­or­ity com­plex when I got older. She’s done her best to let me know that the bul­ly­ing wasn’t my fault, and that there was no need to com­pare my­self to others. As long as I put in the ef­fort and tried my best, she was proud of me.

Of course, like any par­ent and child, we’ve had our dis­agree­ments. Grow­ing up, es­pe­cially in high school,

I felt that she was more strict than other par­ents. For ex­am­ple, I went to high school in Rich­mond, but we still lived in Petersburg. I had to con­vince her to let me do ex­tracur­ric­u­lars, and she wouldn’t let me go to most of the (very tame) par­ties that I was in­vited to. It got to the point where a friend di­rectly mes­saged her on Face­book one time beg­ging me to come to a party. In hind­sight, I re­spect her de­ci­sions; they em­pha­sized her ded­i­ca­tion to keep­ing me safe and helped me make good choices in so­cial sit­u­a­tions.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve picked up on a few bad habits of hers (I can be a bit dis­or­ga­nized, among other things), but I would say I got my re­silience, in­tel­li­gence, com­pas­sion, and good de­ci­sion-mak­ing from her, and I’ve man­aged to carry that through to ma­tu­rity. Nowa­days I can talk to her about pretty much any­thing. She’s loos­ened the reins quite a bit and re­spects that I’m an adult. And, as corny as it sounds, no mat­ter how old I get, if you ask her, she’ll tell you that I’ll al­ways be “her baby”.

Leilia Magee is an ed­i­to­rial as­sis­tant at The ProgressIndex. She can be reached at lmagee@pro­gres-in­dex. com or at 804-722-5154.

Leilia Magee

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