Right now, my mother is driving away from Chicago. She's in a rental car with my dad, my brother and a ton of stuff.
And I miss her.
I'm sitting here, trying not to cry about it, because I can be a huge baby, and well, because I have my own baby to take care of.
When my mom was here, nothing could go completely wrong. I went over to my parents' apartment everyday. She told me what to do when Zoe had a cold.
 I always had someone to complain to. On my worst days, I had someone to detail every little woe to.

Take two weekends ago: I was on a plane flying to N.H. for my grandfather's funeral. On the way back, I had to transfer in Pittsburgh. (On another note, who the heck doesn't get a direct flight from Chicago to Boston? Answer: Missionaries). I was with my brother (a nineteen year old BOY who has never had a baby, obviously), and I was carrying a :
1) car seat
2) stroller
3) sleepy baby with
4)baby hat
5) baby pacifier that falls out every 30 seconds and
6) suitcase
7) diaper bag with no diapers because I am a class A idiot
and 8) ababy blanket.

 Needless to say, trekking through security was a nightmare. I had to prod my freshman brother because he was internet-bound to his laptop and I-phone. If that wasn't bad enough, I was sick with Strep.

On the plane, just as we are about to take off, Zoe decides to do a big wet poop. Lovely.
Oh yeah, did I mention I forgot to put diapers in the diaper bag?
The man next to us kept calling my brother "my husband."
 Even better. Now the situation is miserable and creepy.

In such situations, there is only one person to blame.
My mother.
So I told my brother to call her on speakerphone so she could listen to the wailing, piercing sound of a poopy infant. So she could hear the misery in my silence, and so she could, perhaps, feel slightly terrible about the whole thing (she had made the flights).
Now, you may think I'm a bad daughter. I can't say that that's not true.

Let me give you another scenario.

Before I gave birth to Zoe, I was reading this book about labor. It said that the birthing process was a very psychological event. Basically, it said that if you had any reservations, you had to deal with them. You had to process them.
I thought long and hard about this.
Why was I afraid of labor? What made it seem so terrible?

Well, for one, I am known to be the one with the lowest pain tolerance in my family.  I complain when I am hurt or sick. People bring up memories of me crying during a mosquito infested hike.
I can be a hot mess. Everyone knows this. Especially my mom.

So what did I do? I followed the book's advice and I called my mom to ask one thing.
"Do you think I can go through with this?" I asked her plaintively. "Do you think I am strong enough for a natural childbirth?"

I think she humored me. She told me that I was capable. She said that the last year teaching a class of 32 kids had made me strong. And you know what? I believed her.

Then, when I was in the midst of the birth process, she was there in the background, waiting on me. She brought me juice. She helped Chris be an awesome husband. She was just...there.

She was everything I needed at that point in time.

And that is who I want to be. Someone who is there for my daughter. I know this is kind of cliche again, kind of cheesy, but I keep thinking that I can't do any of this without her. She taught me to be independent. She taught me to be strong, but half of that strength comes from watching her do it. I copy her strength.

Now, here I am, with this little baby, trying not to cry because my mom is gone from Chicago. I'm not sure that I can be as great as she was.
I'm even more unsure when she's gone.