Column: I’ll love you forever

Kaitlyn Hughes
“From that day in preschool to Mother’s Day in high school to the day that I will pick up my bags and move out of my childhood home, my mom will always be my best friend.”

I’ll love you forever. I’ll like you for always.

As long as I’m living my baby you’ll be.

Moms teared up as my preschool class recited the words to the popular children’s book “Love You Forever” during our Mother’s Day celebration. My mom smiled at me while she wiped her eyes. Even though a dozen kids were sitting on the floor saying the same words, I hoped she knew I really meant them.

Last Mother’s Day, while trying to figure out a gift that could possibly start to explain how much my mom meant to me, I thought about that day in preschool, so I pulled out my phone and ordered a bracelet. It was engraved with those same words: I’ll love you forever. When she opened the box, I knew she was confused; she never wore jewelry. However, once she saw the words written on the side, she smiled, immediately remembering that day so many years ago.

From that day in preschool, to Mother’s Day in high school, to the day that I will pick up my bags and move out, my mom will always be my best friend.

She has always been my favorite person, so growing up I tried to spend as much time with her as I could. I went to my sister’s ice skating practice three times a week, so I could talk to her. I sat in the car as she worked, so we could be together during the drive there. When she needed to go to the grocery store, I’d keep her company.

We have spent so much time together that we don’t have to use words to know what the other is thinking. When I’m sitting at the table, frustrated by homework that I don’t understand, my mom will bring me a coffee because she knows that it’s exactly what I need. When she glances at the kitchen in disgust at 5:30 p.m., I know it’s because she doesn’t want to make dinner. When we make eye contact from across the living room and both seem annoyed, we know that it’s because we don’t like what my dad put on TV.

That’s why I’ve struggled so much with the thought of leaving her one day. The stress of moving to a new town, starting college and having to meet new people feels like nothing compared to the pain of having to leave my best friend.

Spending time with people that I have to leave one day is bittersweet. It’s great to be together, but it hurts to consider how limited that time is. I think that’s why so many upperclassmen, including my older sisters, grow apart from their loved ones before they leave for college.

Many of my peers talk about how excited they are to move out of their parents’ house and move on with life. As much as I respect and agree with that, I think that the negative parts of moving on need to be addressed.

Life after such a major change will never be the same as it was before. I can call my mom as often as humanly possible when I move away for college, but we’re never going to have the same relationship as we do now. Instead of talking with my best friend, every conversation is going to be us catching up from the last time we spoke. Instead of walking into my house everyday and feeling like I’m home, I’ll be a visitor.

However, the change doesn’t have to be for the worse. My mom and I have talked through how hard it’s going to be for us to be apart, and I’m so glad we did. Now we really value the time we get to spend together.

If I didn’t acknowledge that leaving my mom would be the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, I would forget to remind her that I’ll love her forever.

That’s a mistake I don’t want anyone to make.