Tomorrow is Mother’s Day. For those lucky enough to have an awesome mom, like I do, it’s a special day that deserves to be celebrated. To me, it’s not just something Hallmark does to sell greeting cards. I genuinely try to make an effort to celebrate and appreciate my wonderful mother.
I know I’ve said it and belabored it before, but I’ve no intentions of stopping. My mother is just that awesome and I’ll loudly proclaim that to the world any chance I get. I know she reads this site from time to time. I just hope I can do her greatness justice.
I could spend hours on end, recounting stories and instances that highlight how great my mom is. That’s the benefit of having a great mom. You’re never short on sweet, sentimental stories to share. The only challenge is picking just one.
After some careful consideration and extensive contemplation, I think I’ve found a story that is worth sharing on the eve of Mother’s Day. It’s a rather funny story that I think my mother should recall for reasons that I hope are clear. It may not be the most dramatic, but it still stands out as one of those fun little moments between me and my mom that I’ll always treasure.
Once again, I have to provide a little context for this story in order to set the stage. To do that, I need to explain a little something about the house I grew up in. It’s a fairly large house in a typical suburban neighborhood. It has three floors, counting the basement. Within that basement is an extra bedroom, which was originally my sister’s room before she moved out.
This room has no windows, so it’s always dark. That makes it a great place to sleep in. It’s also very cool, even in the middle of summer. That made it uniquely appealing during a heatwave.
Conversely, my old room was on the third floor and by some fluke of physics, it was always the hottest or coldest room in the house. I don’t know why, but the air conditioner just never seemed to affect that room. As a result, it got very uncomfortable during certain times of the year.
In the winter, it was manageable. I could just get some extra blankets for my bed and be fairly comfortable. In the summer, however, things got a little tricky. Even when the AC on, my room was uncomfortably hot most of the time. If the AC happen to break, then it was downright unbearable.
It’s within that context that this story unfolds. I was home from college for the summer. We were also in the middle of a heat wave and the AC was acting up again. That meant sleeping in my old room just wasn’t viable. My mom encouraged me to open the windows or set up a fan, but that only did so much. Since my sister wasn’t home at the time, she suggested sleeping in her room if it got too bad.
On this particular night, I tried to sleep in my old room. I made an honest effort. It was no use. It was just too damn hot and muggy. At around midnight, I just gave up and moved down to my sister’s room. I didn’t tell my mom because she was already fast asleep. I didn’t think too much of it. I just wanted somewhere nice and cool to sleep.
It seemed to be a good decision. That room was so dark and cool. Even without AC, I got very comfortable. However, since it had no windows, it was impossible to tell whether the sun was up. It was summer so I didn’t need to get up too early, but my mom did.
As always, she was up right before sunrise. She went about her usual routine, preparing for work. Somewhere along the way, she went down to the basement. I don’t recall why she went down there. I just know that hearing her descend the steps woke me up. Then, for reasons I also don’t quite recall, she opened the door to the room, probably not expecting to find anyone in it.
Naturally, I stirred from the bed just as she turned on the light.
At that same moment, my mother let out what I can only describe as an animated “yelp!”
I wish I could put into words the noise she made. I’d never heard her react like that in my life and I’ve yet to see her react similarly. I just know she was so shocked and surprised that she immediately turned off the lights and closed the door.
Now, I’m still mostly asleep, but I’m very aware I just scared the bejesus out of my mother. I also had a hard time preventing myself from laughing. The noise she made was just that unique. I eventually did manage to wake myself up enough to go out and apologize to her. Much to my relief, she was laughing too. I think even she understood how funny the situation was.
Why does this particular story stick out for me? Yes, my mother made a funny noise when I surprised her, but it’s a nice summation of how she handles unexpected situations.
She doesn’t get mad or upset with someone surprises her. She doesn’t get defensive, either. She has a sense of humor. She will see the lighter side of a situation, at least once the shock wears off. Now, make no mistake. A part of me did feel bad for scaring her like that. Believe me, that was not my intention.
Mom, if you’re reading this, please know that.
Also, that noise you made is forever engrained in my memory and I still laugh at it whenever I think about it.
I hope she remembers that moment as fondly as I do, even though she was on the receiving end of a good scare. There’s also one more footnote to that story worth sharing. For years, I’d been complaining about my room being too hot or cold. For as long as I lived there, their only solution was to get a fan or open a window.
Then, a few years after I moved out, they did some home improvement projects. Among them was some updates to the ventilation and the insulation to that room. Apparently, there were some deficiencies. It wasn’t just me complaining.
Granted, it came too late to make hot summer nights in my room more comfortable. Then again, if they acted sooner, I wouldn’t have this cherished memory of my mom. It makes all those muggy summer nights I spent in my old room totally worth it.
To my awesome mother, thank you for that wonderful memory and for being so wonderful.
To all the other awesome moms out there, I hope you all have a wonderful Mother’s Day.