A Familiar Face In Boulder

I’m nearing 30 <<GULP>> and I’m not afraid to admit I still need my mom sometimes. 

Really, I need my mom always because I still suck at the basics of being an adult, like understanding the 401k and how the hell to sew a button back onto a shirt. But this weekend felt especially necessary because I needed a hug. I needed a real good, extra long momma bear hug to make up for the hug-less past four months.

How are moms so good at hugs anyway? Is it because they’ve had a lifetime of mom-ing to practice? And because they know how to hug in case of happiness and also in heartbreak? They’ve got superpowers is what it is.

I got my hug(s) this weekend when my mom came to visit between business trips. Because she was out west for those business trips. And because I’m almost 30 and I still need my mom sometimes.

We had Friday night and all day Saturday to fit in as much Colorado-ing as possible. There’s so much to do and to see and so much I wanted my mom to see in those 24 hours.

But first, before my mom arrived, I decided to get my hair cut. It wasn’t a cut so much as a complete chop. My long, neglected hair was dead and breaking and getting caught in my arm pit when I blow dried it every morning. It wasn’t used to this dry climate and it needed to go. It was time. So, not two minutes after I sat down in front of my stylist-slash-hair-therapist, she had dry cut five inches off my head. My fingers tingled and I felt a wave of relief wash over my face as I watched my damaged locks fall to the floor. Happily. A lot of Florida lived between those strands and I felt like I was setting part of that life free. 

^^ So much healthier. The hair. The soul. 

After a giant mom hug, we celebrated over dinner at Via Perla later in the evening. Not the savage slashing of one year’s worth of hair, but my mom’s short but sweet visit to Colorado. It’s been awhile, and it felt so good to see a familiar face in this town that still feels new.


Her 24-hour visit was a reminder that family time is rare these days and that I really took that for granted when I lived in Tampa. They lived just an hour or so down the road in Orlando, and I could swing by any free weekend I had for lunch, dinner, a dip in the pool, or a day at Disney. The reminder that I can’t do that out here…it was potent and lived in the front of my mind all day. It was a reminder to soak up the 24 hours we had together this weekend. To smile more and laugh and make this time feel extra special. Because it’s hard to come by these days.

It was a reminder that distance makes it easy to lose touch with people, even family. We filled each other in, but I didn’t feel part of the conversation. I don’t really know my sister anymore. That’s hard. We don’t even live in the same timezone. I don’t know why, but that felt like a giant crack in the earth between us.


My mom started running last month. Running!

She was wearing Asics, a real and true running shoe. Quite a departure from the white and pink Puma walking shoes she’d been sporting for forever since I’ve known her.

“I like those shoes. Asics. Those are good ones.” I threw that out there because distance dissolves connection and I was desperate to fill the silence and to fit as many words and thoughts and feelings into our 24 hours together as possible. And I could talk about shoes all day.

“Yeah. I started running.” Then she threw that out there, like maybe it wouldn’t knock me dead.

“YOU WHAT?” Me. Stunned.

My mom started running last month. She read an inspiring article in Runner’s World and laced up the next day. Just like that. My familiar face with the good hugs felt like a foreigner in just a few seconds. But I’m so so proud of her for going for something brand new.

When it’s ‘been awhile’ with someone, it’s easy to do a lot of re-living. We reminisced about family vacations and holidays because it’s difficult to live in the now with someone who doesn’t share that now. That was my reminder to prioritize a few more trips home later this year.

^^ Stops everything to watch videos of her 1.5 year old granddaughter. Le sigh. 

Even though the timezone thing got to me and my mom’s hair was different and that she started running around the block behind my back, I loved every second of our 24 hours together and I loved playing tour guide around my brand new city. If anything, this weekend was a big reminder that I can’t go four more months without girl talk and a giant hug from the momma bear who does it best.

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