As children, we call her Mom, Mommy, Mama, and sometimes even Mother, but once we become women of a certain age, we call her friend.
As I've grown in my life, I have come to view my mother as more my very best friend in the world. She is the first one I think of to call when something fantastic happens, or when things aren't going the way I had hoped they would.
My mother is in the first generation of bona-fide, society-sanctioned single mothers. It came about in the late 1960s and early 1970s when it was OK to leave a man who wasn't meeting your needs. It was the time when women were finding their strength and courage within themselves to say, enough. Divorce was no longer viewed as a dirty little secret in families across the nation. Being a divorcee was no longer the whispered gasp of disbelief in community or family functions. It was just something women had chosen to do for as many reasons as there were divorcees.
Growing up in the home of a single mother was difficult and presented challenges unlike any the nation had ever seen before -- some of which have yet to be resolved. Through it all my mother was like a rock that couldn't be moved. She possessed a strength I didn't really see in many others. Of course, she was my mother, so my perception could be biased.
If I had to name one thing that I appreciate the most about my mother it would be the fact she never tried to be my friend - she was my mother. She loved me unconditionally, without fail, and at the same time taught me right from wrong through discipline and tough love.
Sometimes when we look back on our relationships with our mothers, especially on this special day of the year - Mother's Day, we tend to romanticize what it was. Or, is it that we are choosing to remember the things that truly matter the most in the end? I choose to believe the latter.