I will never forget the look on my mom’s face while I waved goodbye outside of the Crawford dorms freshman year. The day she had been dreading since I popped out the womb — sending her only daughter into the real world, alone, without any home-cooked meals and unsolicited advice to guide her.
For the past four years I have seen my mom reenact this face each time we separate for university. Sometimes accompanied with tears, sometimes not. Her look resembles the emotion of missing someone before they are really gone. And once I leave the driveway and head down the road toward Mankato, my face starts to look a little more like hers in more ways than one.
College fulfills some of the busiest days of our lives. Between balancing multiple classes, a part-time job, organizations on campus, and a social and personal life, it’s hard to catch a break. Multi-tasking is a life skill not everyone possesses, and I am one of those unlucky people. Only as I spent more time walking past my phone and avoiding a call to home, my mom was eagerly anticipating her screen to light up with my name on it. Or my brothers, but this isn’t really about them (no offense).
One time I was visiting home from college, and my mom and I were sitting together, sharing stories and a bottle of wine like we typically do on a night together. She told me, “I just love it when you’re home.” And though it was a simple phrase, I felt how much our moments mean to her. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve grown to really appreciate every second of time we share. I’ve grown to thank her more for who she created me to be: strong, witty, smart, and never too serious.
If you’re anything like me, I tend to call my mom up during any minor inconvenience. She tells her coworkers and boss, “Sorry! It’s my daughter,” and sneaks into her office to chit chat about my current dilemma. There’s been moments where I’ve tiptoed to a MavPod in between classes to call her about the latest tea. Although she is still learning slang, I think she knows that tea means drama. I also call her when I have to do anything that an adult has to do such as taxes, car maintenance, and letting her know that my tabs were expired and I had to pay a $200 ticket. She keeps up with me, and I try my best to keep up with her.
Senior year has been the most difficult year so far. I’m busy every day and my itinerary is tricky to navigate. It’s been harder to reach out and call my mom as much as I would want to, and it’s hard to not be able to blink and be back home, sitting on the couch watching Hallmark movies.
As a college student, this is a reminder to call your parents. They can’t wait to hear your voice, and are probably waiting for their phone screens to light up with your name on it. Cherish every moment you have with them as if it’s your last; someday some of us will want our phones to light up, too.
Write to Mercedes Kauphusman at firstname.lastname@example.org