Story by Katie Hohman
Illustration by Alicia Zhang
This article is part of Tiger‘s March center spread. Read the rest of the spread here.
In the last year — as I have begun to reflect more and more on my time in high school — I have become increasingly nostalgic. I thought about all of the late nights with my friends, early mornings for school activities, and ice cream trips with my brother. When I looked back on all of the times my mom and I were together, I came to a rather painful realization: I didn’t actually spend that much time with her despite her being my only parent and seeing her every day.
I immediately felt guilty about this. How could I not have dedicated more time throughout middle and high school to the one person who had always been there for me? Did that make me a bad daughter? I knew that I would be leaving for college soon and began to fear that we would drift apart, like two boats drifting further and further away from each other into the night. There were still so many things I wanted to ask her and lessons I needed her to teach me. Could I
accomplish all of that with so little time?
My answer came in the form of a mandated quarantine. Throughout the past year, my mom and I have spent more time together than I ever thought possible, and I have quarantine to thank for that.
One day, we’d spent two hours debating which David Fincher film is the best (it’s The Social Network by the way) only to find ourselves laughing over my brother’s terrible Christopher Walken impression, with tears in our eyes. Now, I eagerly listen as she tells me wild stories about her youth, each one more unbelievable than the next, or some odd piece of advice she’s picked up along the way, like always remember to fill the back of the shovel.
We also have had more time to talk about the topics that take more time to get through: love and loss and grief and failure. I have learned more about my dad and shed tears over all she and I have been through. Because of our time together, our relationship has become something more sturdy, more mature.
Even when quarantine ends or I move away to some far-off town, I will never forget the time spent with my mom. I will never lose sight of that mischievous twinkle in her eyes as she tells me about some daring adventure or whirlwind romance. While I can wallow over lost time, I know that it’s not worth it. Instead I choose to focus on all of the things she has taught me and continues to teach me.