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"Honestly, Mom?"

Another year, another Mother's Day. How cold of me to say that! But wait, hear me out first.

I was talking with someone whom I respect greatly for her intelligence and insight the other day, and she brought up Mother's Day. Basically what she said, for I would not want to include others in my haphazard posting of detailed private information, was that she didn't celebrate Mother's Day because every day is Mother's Day.

Kind of makes you feel stupid for going out and buying all those flowers and chocolate and whatnot, doesn't it?

What this woman said got me thinking, as usual. I wanted to write something about my mom, but I'm no good at the sappy stuff that makes the sweetest of sweetteeth quiver in excitement. I didn't want to write some stupid essay about how I didn't send my mom anything except myself home as a present. That just isn't Ben. I think. No angst, no grand sweeping statements about the plight of man, no vulgarities.

So I chose to write about why I didn't send my mom very much. I suppose I take my mom for granted, as most do. It isn't a bad thing, you know -- it means that you're so important and intertwined into someone's life that you're a part of them that they're used to having there. Remove yourself and they feel incomplete. They don't operate as well and they aren't anywhere near as comfortable or happy without you.

My mom does so much for me. She always has. We don't have the type of relationship where we need to say something to each other every day -- my whole family is used to a sort of silent understanding. I lived away from home for my freshman year this year and we hardly ever communicated. It just isn't necessary. And this form of communication has worked.

I was brought up extremely well. I was allowed the opportunities to explore what I wanted to, so I never ran into the problem of not being able to learn something because my parents couldn't or wouldn't provide for me. Some may call this being spoiled, but I disagree -- it's more like the American Dream, earning enough money to provide a better life for one's children (so kiss my ass, you anti-Plano hypocrites). It's like actually being a growing organism -- the more experience you have, the better you will be at surviving and then enjoying life.

My parents raised me, in general, how every child should be raised. My parents were always there and they always instructed me as to what my choices were. They were good and kind to me. They were strict in a subtle sort of way, using guilt as punishment for abusing their generosity.

As I got older, their parenting took root in me and I grew up to be someone who is open-minded and who chooses the most beneficial and efficient option. I cherish books. I would not give up my education for anything. I am eager to live life. I am.

I know I ranted about this before, but I'm taking a slightly different slant this time.

I do not have the audacity to say it was me who caused any of this. The credit goes to my parents, mainly. I am a strong believer in proper parenting. I believe that how a child is raised is how he or she will end up as an adult. If a parent beats a child, the child will be abusive and impulsive later on. If a parent supports a child, the child will be more responsive as an adult. To me, there is nothing more important for a person's development than the state of living at home.

You may not agree, but I think if you go out into the world and meet people, particularly those my age, you will find that the more stable and loving ones are those who have married parents or who have safe, stable homes. The ones who are screwed up have screwed up parents.

Getting back to my mom, it is because of her that I am what I am today. She gave to me so that I would be secure as an adult. She cared, therefore I will care. What she has done has also made me recognize that what I seek out of a companion is someone who has a stable family herself. When I find her, if I haven't already, I will be exceedingly happy.

So there you have it. I don't do all that much for my mom on Mother's Day. We went out to dinner and I designed a card using Photoshop (which will become another part of my body soon) for her, but it was nothing spectacular. None of the material stuff really matters, although it's nice when someone you care about does it for you. It's the feeling behind everything that counts. And here's the feeling behind what I'm writing:

Thank you, Mom, on this Mother's Day of 1997, for raising me well. There is no gift greater than what you gave me.

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