My Mother Actually Is My Best Friend

I’m sure most of you have heard of the movie Freaky Friday where an angsty teenage Lindsey Lohan switches bodies with her “fun-sucking” mom played by the hilarious Jamie Lee Curtis.

Well, when I was a 13-year-old embodiment of Lohan’s character, I told my own mother I would never want to switch places with her, even for a day. She was everything I told myself I didn’t want to be: a businesswoman, an athlete, a Type A personality. I was a free-spirited musician who dreamed of becoming a teacher, and I was determined to make sure she knew I was going to be nothing like her when I grew up.

She enrolled me in softball when I was young, and I spent every practice praying I would be put in the outfield and trekking begrudgingly through the bases until I would inevitably be tapped out. I got in the car after games and complained about how much I hated the sport, and lamented about how much I detested her for putting me in it. When I was in seventh grade, I was invited to go with some friends to a movie, and my mom, despite my bitter pleas, ended up chaperoning the event. I ignored her the entire night, and didn’t even sit by her for the film.

I spent so much of my energy opposing who I thought she wanted me to be that I never noticed she was exactly the kind of woman I now aspire to become.

When I left for my freshman year of college, I wasn’t all that sentimental or nervous. I have always been incredibly independent, and I spent most of my high school career in various auditoriums and friend’s homes rather than with my family. I thought I would maybe call my parents once a week, and recoiled at the thought of visiting home any time before Thanksgiving. It wasn’t that I didn’t feel close to my mom, it was just that I didn’t feel like I needed her, or anybody, for that matter.

Of course, nothing ever goes as expected, and as my first semester progressed, I missed my mom’s encouraging words, the stability of life at home, and just having her around. Our calls became more and more frequent, and now I called because I wanted to talk to her, not because I felt like I needed to check in. I visited home a few weeks before Thanksgiving, and I felt the happiest I had felt in a long time to be in the comfort of my own home. My relationship with my mom was changing, and for the better.

She has never once made me feel like I can’t do anything I set my mind to. When I told her one of my dreams is to travel around Europe by myself, she asked me what countries I wanted to visit the most. When I told her I was going to switch paths from becoming a Special Education teacher to pursuing Creative Writing, she told me she always knew I’d be a writer. When I told her about my idea to start a Bed and Breakfast that employs people of varying abilities, we put together a business plan on a napkin during brunch.

She has instilled in me the idea that no dream is too big, and because of her I have the confidence and drive to truly believe that. Some people may see me as overly ambitious or unrealistic, but the truth of the matter is I can make these dreams happen because I have the heart and dedication to achieve them, and I have my mom to thank for that.

When my friends ask me why I get so excited to go home and spend time with my mom or why I call her at least three days a week, I feel lucky to have the relationship with her that I do. I don’t think of our time together as something I have to do to fill my role as a “good daughter” or to meet some sort of quota. I love hanging out with my mom the same way I relish my time with any other friend. I cherish our typical visits to the downtown bookstore where we catch up with the owner and enjoy our “friends and family” discount. I crave sharing a plate of Brussel sprouts and local beers at one of our favorite restaurants. I love laying out on the deck, sharing scarily similar laughter and reading our respective books.

Now all I see when I look at my mom is a successful leader in her trade who uses her gifts to inspire others. I see the first person who I want to call when something exciting happens, and the first person I run to when things don’t go quite as planned. I see a woman who has ceaselessly supported me through every milestone in my life, whether that be my first school musical or when I decided to change my major halfway through my junior year of college. Most of all, I see my best friend in the whole world who I am immensely proud to call my mother.

Katy Hackworthy

Katy is a nature lover born and raised in the land of cheese and beer. On a typical summer morning you can find her strolling around Farmer’s Markets with every intention of buying fresh produce but always leaving with unnecessarily fancy soap and a donut. Brunching is the only sport she participates in, and her grandma is her best friend. Her signature party trick is falling asleep in the recliner before midnight. In her spare time between working as a personal care assistant and studying Creative Writing at the University of WI Eau Claire, she sings her heart out in an A capella choir. She aspires to someday own a bed and breakfast with her mom, and maybe even become the next Amy Poehler (a girl can dream).
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