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I don’t know how she did it. My mother excelled at motherhood. It was as if she attended a university renowned for its studies in being a mom, and she graduated at the top of her class. 

Growing up, our family had homemade meals six days of the week (Friday was either pizza or sandwich night) and there was always a fresh vegetable. Nothing ever came out of a can or a box, including our drinks, which were iced tea from steeped tea bags and hand-squeezed lemonade with a few drops of blue food coloring because pink lemonade was so passé. 

Dinner was a fabulous experience. Except for the occasional cold plate my mom prepared on the muggiest summer days, my sisters and I enjoyed everything from fried zucchini flowers to homemade fettuccine with Alfredo sauce. 

I rely on DoorDash. 

Baking was my mom’s bag too. To this day I can easily polish off six of her blueberry cupcakes dusted in confectionary sugar. Ditto for her famous rainbow cookies. 

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The last time I baked, and I use that term loosely, was back in 2016 when I tore open a box of brownie mix, added an egg and vegetable oil, and poof!dessert. I may have gotten fancy and spread a can of chocolate frosting on top.

Obviously, my mother’s house was always clean.

There were no stacks of papers all over the dining room table, no dishes in the sink, no mysterious dried gunk stuck to the walls. All of these things can be found in my home on any given day despite feeling like I spend most of the time cleaning. 

I never remember a day when my mother did not look gorgeous. Her hair was a perfectly coiffed masterpiece of blonde highlights that never saw the likes of a ratty ponytail. Each morning she would sit at her vanity and carefully apply makeup to her already lovely face, somehow making her high cheekbones even higher and her wide eyes even wider and more alluring.

It was fun having the prettiest mom. 

I haven’t covered my grays in three years. 

It wasn’t just the cooking, cleaning, and looking fabulous that my mom was great at.

It was the important stuff too. 

My mom was, and still is, a great listener. She’s easy to talk to and always made me feel I could come to her about anything no matter what. I think this is one trait she actually passed on to me, and I’d like to think my own children feel the same way about me. 

Nobody gets stuff done like my mom. Her organizational skills are finely tuned, and I admire her gutsy attitude and sense of fearlessness. Where I shudder at the thought of making a difficult phone call, my mother shines. 

One Christmas my son requested a coveted Bleacher Creature stuffed character from Santa. My mom, always on the ball, ordered the doll six weeks in advance, and when it still hadn’t arrived a few days before Christmas, Grandma sprung into action. After contacting Bleacher Creatures and the post office without getting answers, my mother called her local congressman representative for help. And help he did. 

The doll arrived two days later. 

They say mothers are the glue of the family, and in the case of my mom, nothing could be truer. She is the bright shining sun in our family’s galaxy, keeping us connected, laughing, and loving.

She is the nucleus, holding us together in that way a good mother does. And she makes it look easy. 

At 47, I need my mother as much as I did when I was 14. Despite trying hard, I pretty much land in the OK mom zone. I could never live up to the legend of awesomeness that is my mother. She’s the one who knows how to get every stain on the planet out of a shirt. She knows the ratio of butter to flour when making a roux. She knows if I’m having a hard day dealing with my depression just by the sound of my voice. 

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My mom is the matriarch of the family. She is our queen. She is our heart. I consider myself lucky that not only do I have a great mother but that I still have her. The thought of one day losing her brings me to my knees. I don’t know what I’d do without her. 

So for now all I can do is be grateful for every moment I get with her and enjoy my mother’s company. 

I know I could never live up to her. But then why would I want to? There is truly no one like my mom.

Claudia Caramiello

Claudia Caramiello is a certified pharmacy technician by day, freelance writer by night, mother of two teen sons both day and night. Hailing from New Jersey, she survives single motherhood on caffeine, humor, and listening to Twenty One Pilots. Her articles have been featured on Scarymommy, Bluntmoms, Sammiches and psych meds, Elephant Journal, and Moms & Stories. You can find her on Facebook at Espresso & Adderall and read more from Claudia on her blog, https://wordblush.com/

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