It is, as of today, nine years since I saw my mom last. Depressing? Not really. I’ve learned to not focus on the negative feelings I have about her leaving me with the worst possible candidate, but on the things that make me love her still and want to make her proud. All anyone seems to remember about her is the crazy woman who never was any good at anything, the teenager who got preggers before she should have. They can’t remember the mom who stayed up all night when I was six to make me both a cake and cupcakes for my sixth birthday, so that all my friends could have a cupcake, but I didn’t have to blow the candles out and get spit all over them. The mom who stormed into the school and had a shouting match with the principle when my teacher told me there was no Santa. Who would read me poetry, and kept me out of school so we could spend the day making ornaments. That is who I remember, and that is who I love. I can’t focus only on the woman who left us with no stable parental figure, or who was convinced she was a witch, and tried to ‘train’ me. Some people get to spend their whole lives with a loving mother. Sure, mine was crazy, and more likely to take me to an adult bookstore, then go to a PTA meeting, sure she would leave us alone at home for hours at a time, or punish us for weird things, but I think she was the best mom I could have asked for. I’d take a flaky witch over the clingy loser I have now, any day.