What I Have Learned From My Mom
I remember in middle school, every girl bragged about how her Mom was her best friend. I, of course, was no exception. We’d compare the long heart-to-hearts we had with our mothers and would talk about the shopping trips we took together. But when high school started, mother-daughter relationships were brought up less and less, and rarely as a point of pride in our lives. It seemed that all the girls who once bragged about such close bonds had severed them, thinking that one could either be friends with her Mom or grow up. I, however, never saw growing up or having a close relationship with my Mom as a choice: I was one of the few who managed to do both.
Over the years, I can easily and honestly say that my Mom has become my best friend. It’s not just because we love each other unconditionally, but because as two individual people, we find each other genuinely interesting and funny, can confide in each other, and are constantly learning from each other.
While I taught my Mom about feminism and my passion for women’s rights, she taught me the (inarguably more important) life lesson of how to be a good person. She taught me that treating everybody with dignity and respect is as essential and necessary as treating yourself with dignity and respect. She taught me that being genuinely kind – to ask how other people are doing, to really listen to what they say – is a thing of joy for everybody involved, and that you can succeed without tearing others down. She taught me to be the person I am today: a person I think we’re both proud of.
So here’s to my Mom – and to all the Moms – who really got it right.
– Julie Zeilinger
Julie Zeilinger is a 17-year old blogger. She’s the founder and editor of The FBomb, an influential feminist blog for teenagers.
Revisit Julie’s interview on No Country for Young Women
Julie’s blog: The Fbomb
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– Interview by Elena Rossini