This I Believe

Erin - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Entered on January 17, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family

On the brink of my 21st birthday, I must finally surrender to the idea that, unfortunately, my mother is and always will be, completely, 100% right.

This I believe, and I have the physical and mental scars to prove it. But, let me clarify. I don’t mean that my mother wins every debate or argument she has with just anyone. Only me. So, after 21 years, I must let my stubborn guard down, and finally accept the fact that her advice or disagreements with choices I have made are most valid.

When I was eight, I loved to ride my red plastic scooter carelessly down the street. Mom told me to tie my shoes, and to not go so fast, because I could trip and fall. But my young blood was looking for a thrill, so I ignored both requests and sped off. I only made it halfway down the street before I had fallen and scratched up my knee. The thought of mom cleaning me up and placing a clean band-aid on my knee crossed my mind. But instead, I straightened myself out and came home later convincing myself that the red scooter was obviously defected. Mom wouldn’t win, yet.

However, this holds true with the pancake pan burn on my arm, the twenty splinters from a skateboard ramp, every summer burn endured at the beach and the chicken pock scar that rests on my leg eternally.

As I grew older, Mom told me to “try every chocolate in the box” in relation to boyfriends. She allowed me little to no grieving time as I pined over my first high school love. She threw The Feminine Mystique my way, put on a Joni Mitchell album and left me to my own devices. I refused to believe that it would ever be ok. Now, three years later, I laugh at my naïve self, and grimace at the fact that mom was once again, too right.

I finally came to this whole recently, when one of my roommates and I decided to take a long weekend away from school. We over loaded with plans to visit too many people, and when Mom mentioned this to me, I replied, “We are young, it will be fun.” Three days later, out of cash and exhausted, we made our way back to Pittsburgh. We hit traffic, which she had said would happen. It was a standstill: a five car pile up near Gettysburg, PA. Near this infamous battleground, I sighed, knowing that it was time to throw up the white flag to a woman older and wiser.

My mother’s experiences far exceeding mine, I will no longer consider it a burden. However, I still hold on to the hope that one day, I will finish the New York Times Sunday crossword puzzle before her, in pen, no mistakes.