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Main : Books : Chicken Soup Series : Chicken Soup for the Soul (2)

Steeped with Meaning
  by: Author Unknown, A Second Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul

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My mom and I sat in the small college cafe with out large mugs of something that smelled like lemon and tasted like home. We were catching up on the past four months of our lives and the hours just weren't long enough. Sure, we had talked on the phone and occasionally written. But the calls were long distance, and it was rare to find a moment when my roommate wasn't waiting for the phone or my younger brother or sister weren't waiting for my mom. So while we knew of each other's experiences, we had not yet dissected them. As we discussed her new job, and my latest paper, my new love, and her latest interview, I leaned back into my cushion and thought: I always knew when she became my mother, but when had she become my friend?

As far back as I can remember my mom was always the first that I came to with every tear and every laugh. When I lost a tooth and when I found a friend, when I fell from my bike, and when I got back on it, she was there. She never judged me; she let me set my own expectations. She was proud when I succeeded and supportive when I didn't. She always listened; she seemed to know when I was asking for advice and when I just needed a good cry. She multiplied my excitement with her own and divided my frustrations with her empathy and understanding. When she picked me up from school, she always asked about my day. And I remember one day asking about hers. I think I was a little surprised that she had so much to say. We rarely had late night talks (because she was already asleep), nor early morning ones (because I was not yet up), but in between the busy hours of our filled days, we found the time to fill each other's ears with stories and hearts with love. She slowly shared more and more of her own life with me, and that made me feel more open with her. We shared experiences and hopes, frustrations and fears. Learning that she still had blocks to build and to tumble made me more comfortable with my own. She made me feel that my opinions were never immature and my thoughts never silly. What surprises me now is not that she always remembered to tell me "sweet dreams", but that she never forgot to tell me that she believed in me. When she started going through some changes in her life, I had the opportunity to tell her that I believed in her too.

My mother had always been a friend. She had given me her heart in its entirety; but her soul, she divulged in pieces, when she knew that I was ready.

I sat across from the woman who had given me my life and then shared hers with me. Our mugs were empty, but our hearts were full. We both knew, that tomorrow she'd return to the bustle of Los Angeles and I1d remain in the hustle of New Haven. I know that we are both growing and learning. Yet, we continue to learn about each other and grow closer. Our relationship was like the tea we had sipped, mixed with honey and lemon, the longer it steeped, the better it tasted.




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