It was hot and sticky night, so of course I was restless—tossing and turning around in my favorite Little Mermaid sheets. The humidity made me sweat as I tried to stay still and sleep, but ultimately I failed as my impatience to cool off grew. I kicked off my sheets in agitation and sat upright at the foot of my bed trying to find a solution to my problem. In the midst of my concentration, I heard rapid taps on my window. As I pulled down on my window shade, I was praying that it was merely some rain and not a burglar trying to climb into my second story window. When I peeked under my shade ready to let it roll up, a relieved sigh left my small body as I realized it was just a thunderstorm. I welcomed the cool air as I opened the window and blew the paint chips off the window pane. I laid on my stomach watching the beautiful rain showers, while feeling the satisfying goose bumps from the chilly wind. Soon, I felt my body roll towards the indentation someone was making to my left. I looked up and saw my mother settling herself next to me.
Fear rolled through my mind thinking I was going to be in trouble for being up so late, but she interrupted my thoughts by kissing me on the forehead and noting how beautiful the rain was. She then went on about how it could cure any mood and wash away all worries. As we watched God’s gift to the earth, my mother told me that she thought each drop of rain represented a tear—a tear with a story. There is a reason behind every tear that falls, such as how there’s a reason for every raindrop. In the silence that followed, I understood that there was a reason we were dealing with challenges. It was all in God’s plan, but the many trials had been wearing on us all. Our dad was out of mine and my two brother’s lives, my mother was single and worrying about her boyfriend (our future father) stationed in Iraq and making end’s meet with three children. I understood what my mother meant about the rain curing any mood. I felt comfort watching it pour, feeling my mind free all concerns. Most of all, in the midst of all our trials and heartaches, here my mom was, next to me, enjoying both the rain and my company. In that moment, as I peered at my mother through my young eyes, I knew she wasn’t just a mom. Of course, she had the duties of a mom and perfected them with what people would observe as “ease,” but I realized from the depths of my heart that she was my best friend and always would be.
Eight years later and finishing high school, I still remember that night as clear as day and our friendship has only grown even stronger. A supporter of my decisions, a sympathizer through difficult and stressful times, an ally during times of need, a dance partner to get down to music, a listener to my celebrations and venting sessions, and a comedian on the darkest of days is my mother to a “T.” She is more than what I could ask from any of my best friends I have gained over the years in school. My mom understands me on a level beyond what my greatest friend could. I enjoy our car rides when we talk as if we haven’t seen each other for weeks, when it’s only been an hour. I love her quirkiness, like the times she jumps on my bed or scares me from behind a wall. There isn’t judgment in her eyes, only looks of pride and love. I admire her for everything she has done, the problems she has faced, never giving up, and for being happy when sadness wants to take hold. I can only hope to be half the woman she is, which drives me to push on and go for my dreams. Our relationship is cherished by us both, because it is the most unique. We have mastered the fine line of being a parent/daughter and being best friends.
I’m looking forward to the car ride to Cincinnati, because it gives us four hours of heart-to-heart talks that all best friends have after a couple of crazy days. Although it will be sad that we will be parting after I move in, what makes me the happiest daughter in the world is that our talks won’t stop due to the distance, and I won’t ever lose my best friend, my mother.