Why I Love My Mom

I just found out that my memoir “On Seventeen” won an Editors’ Choice on Teen Ink! If you’d like to help me out by checking it out (pieces with more ratings and comments on TeenInk.com are more likely to make their way into the magazine), here’s the link:

“On Seventeen”

This weekend, I learned a lot about myself. I learned that I suck at playing Scrabble (unless I’m cheating by putting down names instead of words), that my parents passed on a few more of their engineering genes than I’d generally like to admit (I’m currently trying to figure out what to take to college with me by drawing diagrams of my dorm room–you’ve been warned)… and that running and I really do not mix. Especially when I’m wearing flip flops and it’s dark out.

Because while I currently look like this when you see my face (please excuse the fact that I just woke up and therefore, you know, look like it):

… My left knee currently looks like THIS:

And that’s just ONE of my knees on ONE of my legs. Not to mention what happened to my feet (nail polish and nail and skin alike stripped off of my toes) and all of the bruising that those bandages are hiding behind them, along with the massive amounts of road burn.

Let’s just say that I’m never going to try running across the street at 2:00 AM in flip flops Ever. Again. I will be wearing my running shoes from now on, thank you very much.

Having this happen to me Friday night, and then considering the side effects of it (and my utter and unavoidable uncoordinated-ness) ever since, has definitely reminded me of what time of year it is, though. Because although I’m annoyed that this means I can’t go on water rides at the amusement park on Monday and I can’t go swimming while I’m camping next weekend, my main concern actually turned to, What happens if something like this happens while I’m at school?

Because, as much as I’d like to ignore college and pretend that summer will last forever a la Phineas and Ferb, it’s not going to. I’m going to move into my dorm room in twenty or so days, and I’m going to finally get to meet my roommate in person, and I’m going to say goodbye to my parents, and I am going to be a college student. Who doesn’t have her mother to baby her when she falls and scrapes all of the skin off her knees.

I’m going to have to learn to take care of myself.

And yes, I’ll have friends in college who can help me clean off my battle wounds and drown them in Neosporin (and thanks, by the way, to the friends who helped me at 2:00 AM when I first tripped and went sprawling across the cement). But they won’t be the same as my mom–my mom who has loved me unconditionally, through my highest highs and lowest lows and everything in between–for the past eighteen years of my life.

Ironic, isn’t it, how Teen Ink chose today, now, to bring my attention back to that memoir that I wrote the day before I turned eighteen?

So I’m going to enjoy the last of my summer, even though I can’t go near the water without incurring an infection. And I’m going to enjoy college, when I get to it, even though I’m terrified of the changes it’s going to bring. But I’m also going to hold a little closer to all the things my mother has done for me and will do for me, because nobody else will ever love me like she does. And I love her for it.

See you on Wednesday!

~Julia