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Month of May

This post is dedicated to my mom.

Happy parents @ Tulip Festival in Ottawa

May is a celebratory month in my family.  It's Mother's day, my mom's birthday, as well as my parents' anniversary.  On top of that, we seem to celebrate the arrival of summery weather and pretty flowers.  So we always make sure to do something special.

But this year felt a little different.  Maybe it's that I spent Mother's day away from my mom, in a different city, over 400km away.  Maybe that's why social media seemed extra annoying, with everyone else posting their photos of their own Mother's day celebrations.  I know I shouldn't complain; it could definitely be worse.  But shockingly, just knowing "it could be worse" didn't make me feel any better.

A couple days later, I rush home to Toronto, barely managing to spend the last two hours of my mom's birthday with her, in a tiny 24-hr noodle restaurant, of all places.

"I don't have my wallet," she says, in sudden realization.
"I have money," I say, eagerly jumping at any opportunity to ease my guilt, even just a little bit.
She smiles and thanks me, as if a bowl of noodles is a worthy birthday meal.

On the weekend I take her shopping, I want to buy her a watch as a birthday present.
"You can choose the one you like," I tell her, knowing she can be picky.
"Why is this one so much more expensive than that one?" she asks the salesgirl.
"Mom, it's a present, just pick the one you like."
"I don't like the price tag," she grumbles.
Somehow I manage to convince her to let me buy that one, and she's all smiles, spending the rest of the weekend showing off her new arm candy.

I always had two goals when it comes to my mom: to protect her and to make her happy.  As I grew older and picked up photography, I came up with a third: to make her feel beautiful.  My mom always said that she didn't photograph well when she was younger, and as a result, she doesn't have many photos of herself that she likes.

"Now I'm too old to look good in photos," she complains.
"No mom, you look great," I insist. "See?"

I show her my camera and wait for her nod of approval.

"Okay, that one I like."

I beam with pride.

"This one too"

let's throw one of dad in here so he doesn't feel left out

"Oh this is pretty"

I listen as she explains to me why it's pretty, I'm laughing a little.
"I know mom, I took it that way."
She pats me on the arm and says, "Good."

Flowers always remind me of my mom, explained more in this older post.

Ottawa's annual tulip festival

can you believe this is a tulip?

Me and my pretty mama

Every year this month, I cry about my mom.  Last year I cried making a card for her.  Putting pen to paper made me reminisce about everything she did for me when I was growing up.  Not that I don't remember the other 364 days of the year, but my emotions seemed to have culminated at that very moment.  Again, this year as I flip through my photos and write up this post, I'm overcome with emotion and realization of how much I miss my mom.  I always considered myself to be a pretty strong and independent person, but I guess you never stop needing your mom.

Mom, I love you.  Happy Mother's Day and Happy Birthday