It was the fall of my senior year of high school, and like just about everyone in my class I was anxious for the next chapter. I was rushing through the year and each final event without a single thought about nostalgia.
I had just played a mid-week soccer game, and I remember walking out to the parking lot with my mom by my side. Other than than I can’t tell you anything about the game. I can’t tell you whether we won or loss. I’m not sure what position my coach had me playing. And I don’t even have a clue about whether I was apart of any big plays or goals.
Everything that was most likely so important on that day has slipped from my memory through these years since. However, there is one aspect of that day that I still remember clearly.
My gaslight was on.
This was a pretty common occurrence when I was in high school, and believe it or not it’s still a pretty common occurrence to this day. Despite being raised by a woman who will rarely let her gas gauge fall below half full, I am no stranger to the orange gaslight.
I told this to my mom on my way to the car and after giving me a short laugh and eye roll she said that she would follow behind me until I got to the gas station to make sure I didn’t run out of gas in the middle of nowhere.
So sure enough as I pulled out of Jack Allen field I watched her car pull out behind me. I remember looking in my rearview mirror every so often to make sure she was still there behind me, and she always was.
I found comfort in this, but I also realized that these days were going to come to an end soon. She would not be able to follow behind me forever to keep me out of trouble. I would soon be moving three states away and I wouldn’t be able to call her to bail me out every time I pushed something just a little too far. That’s a weird feeling to know that soon you will be leaving the one place and person who was always there to get you out of trouble and make everything okay.
Now more than four years later this memory still comes to mind every time I think about both my mother and the mother I hope I can be one day, Lord willing.
My mom has always been a great friend to me, but first and foremost she was always my mother. I never had the Gilmore Girls relationship with her growing up, because I didn’t need a Lorelai Gilmore in my life, I needed a Lynn Timm. She doubled as my biggest fan and my hardest critic. She was my greatest advocate, but also my greatest reality check. She never sugar coated my mistakes, but she never downplayed my accomplishments.
She was my mother through and through, and I’m so thankful that I had 18 years with a mother rather than 22 years of a best friend.
When I turned 18 things changed for our relationship. One day she told me that I was raised. She made sure I knew she would always be there for me, and that she hopes that I continue to make her proud for the rest of my days, but she had done her job. She spent 18 years pouring into me, setting limits for my own safety, monitoring my grades, and keeping tabs on where I chose to spend my free time. There were no more rules she could enforce, it was my turn to take what I learned in her years of parenting me and simply live well.
In the moment, I saw this day solely as the day I no longer had a curfew, but now when I look back on it, I see it as the day my mother tore down the firm parenting wall she had always enforced, and became my friend.
And to this day, she is still my friend, one of my very best friends, actually. She’s receives a call with every exciting piece of information and every meltdown my life has to offer no matter how many miles away she is. She now advices me out of friendship rather than through lecture. She laughs with me on a level that I would laugh with a roommate. She is a mother, but she is a friend, and one of the bests at both if you ask me.
My mom has given me a lot of things through the years. She gave me the shape of my face. She gave me me stubborn brown hair. She gave me an appreciation of rest. She gave me the ability to love deeply, but only when the time is right. She gave me lessons on grace (I’m still working on that one). She gave me a beach buddy. She gave me a passion for passions. She gave me endurance. She gave me an ability to nurture. She gave me a heart for the overlooked. She gave me an adoration of animals. SHE GAVE ME LIFE. She gave me a mother. And she gave me a friend.
Sometimes, when that dang gas light pops up and my stomach does that worried flip I still look for my mother in my rearview mirror. I still seek comfort in the idea of her following behind me in case I fall into trouble, in case I go a little too far on empty. I moved away from her over four years ago, but something in me still looks for her every time ever since that day.
And though she’s not usually there following behind me every step of the way when I start to run out of gas, she’s always a phone call away to talk me off the ledge.
This is my mother, and this is my friend. She’s goofy, carefree, passionate, wise, stubborn, loving, and nurturing.
She excels at both tasks.
Happy Mother’s Day!
Feature Image Credit: Shari Gato