I can't help but think about the girl I was . . .
I was angry, I was sullen, I was a pain in the rear.
And I had absolutely no good reason to be so. I had good parents. I had good friends. I had a good life. Yet, this miserable, cranky being was what others saw for the better part of my early teenage years, especially my mom.
They say that we always hurt the ones we love most.
If that is the case, than I loved her enormously. Such was the incredible length of my attitude, my irritation, my general eye-rolling existence.
Looking back to me, to us, during that time, one might assume that we never got over it. That the same mother and daughter who were at odds with each other on a daily basis would be keeping a fair amount of distance between them now, by choice. That the same mother and daughter would want little to to with each other aside from the polite holiday exchanges of a Christmas card.
Thankfully, that's not the way it is . . . not by a long shot.
When Chelsea Clinton introduced her mother tonight at the Democratic National Convention, there I was again, just like the night before, with a tear running down my cheek. Now, I'm not going to get all political here; but party lines aside, Hillary Clinton kicked much ass in this primary and for that, I am grateful.
I am grateful not only as a woman, but for the first time in a very long time, as an American. I feel like there is hope, that we may actually have a chance to redeem ourselves with the rest of the world and the world itself - the earth. I feel like we can do it, if she can do it - so can we and watching history like that in the making is one of the most exhilarating things I think one can experience.
What does this have to do with my mom, you ask?
My mom has had a Hillary button for years . . . as in, YEARS. Watching my mom support Senator Clinton from the very beginning and now seeing her crack that "glass ceiling" that had before been impenetrable is so amazing. Believing in something, someone, takes more than just trust, it takes faith, blind faith.
Sitting there in my living room with my family watching that speech was seeing history being told, like it was being read from the pages of a textbook. My children, my daughter, will read about this election. Hopefully, she will remember the feeling of being in the room and hearing the words, "My mother was born before women had the right to vote and my daughter was able to vote for me in this election."
Before women had the right to vote.
We certainly have come a long way baby.
And that's the way it is between my mom and me. We have come a long way too. Today we are friends, we value each other, we like each other and most importantly we love each other.
I look up to my mom with so much respect and admiration that it is hard to put into words, but she knows it. I have long since stopped apologizing for the agony I put her through during my teenage years, but I have never felt past it. Some things, I guess, are harder to get over than others. But she's forgiven me for the person that I let myself be and I'm sure that someday I'll forgive myself too.
Sitting there, looking at my daughter, watching someone else's daughter speak about her mother, it felt as if for a moment, the whole world made sense. For a moment, I could clearly see the otherwise invisible line connecting me and my daughter - the same one that connects my mom and me - the same one that connects my grandmother to my mom.
I know there are struggles ahead for Katie and I. I know it won't be easy. I know we will fight and cry and be mad as hell at each other. That's all part of being human. But thanks to my mom, and other strong women out there, I know that we can get past it. I know that we can be okay and that someday, maybe she will go farther than I, or my mom, or my grandma ever did.
It's that little thing called hope that makes me think that. Thank you mom, for teaching me what it is all about. But most of all, thank you for just being you. Strong. Beautiful. Confident. Smart. Happy. Brave. Mom.
Happy Birthday Mom.