Mallazzo: This Sunday, tell your mother you love her

Mike Mallazzo, Columnist

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On college campuses across America, there is no holiday as underappreciated as the one coming up this Sunday.

Amidst our busy lives, it is easy for us to allow Mother’s Day to slide under the radar, acknowledged only by a dozen roses or the card that is 50 percent off in CVS.  However, we owe it to the most special woman in the world to express our love in our own voices and not let Hallmark do the talking.

While Pinterest might have some phenomenal gift ideas, there is no substitute for spending time with Mom and telling her how much she means to you. Mom doesn’t want your flowers or chocolates; she wants to see your face or hear your voice.

If you live close enough, drop everything you’re doing and take a surprise day-trip home and spend a few hours with Mom. Eat a good meal, help plant some flowers, play a couple of rounds of Bananagrams, or sit around the TV and watch a couple of Lifetime movies and episodes of “House Hunters.” Give your mom the kind of fully devoted attention that she showered upon you for the first 18 years of your life.

As evidenced by the last paragraph, I don’t know much about the psyche of middle-aged women, but I would bet my life savings on one thing: Your mom misses you more than you can possibly fathom. The house just isn’t the same without the mud you tracked in from soccer practice or the dirty dish you always left out on the counter. She does a good job of covering her feelings up by talking about the wild Gatsby-style dinner parties she can throw with you gone, but she wishes you were home.

Unfortunately, hundreds of miles keep many of us from going home for Mother’s Day. However, we have the ability to make a phone call to tell Mom how lucky we are to have her in our lives. We can do better than following the Mother’s Day script where we give our cursory five-minute check-in before resuming our daily activities. Spend time telling Mom about what is really happening in your life, share the funny stories you never hesitate to tell your friends and most importantly, thank her for all she sacrificed to put you where you are today.

And make sure you use the words: “I love you, Mom.” If you don’t utter that phrase at least three times with conviction, pick up the phone and try again.

We live in a world where it has tragically become socially acceptable for 364 days a year to quibble with our mothers over petty issues and chastise her when she prevents you from doing something. Obnoxious kids like ourselves are encouraged to think we know everything and have been allowed to use a tone with our moms that should be dignified with nothing more than a swift kick in the ass. But on Mother’s Day, the amendment that allows us to treat our moms as anything less than a perfect, omniscient and all-loving goddess is null and void.

There was a time, when we were around 5 or 6, when we brought home a Picasso-esque conglomerate of macaroni and glue on a canvas of printer paper. Somewhere on there was a stick-figure drawing of Mom and a barely legible “I Love You,” written with the authenticity that only a 5-year-old’s prose can provide.  Though we no longer have that innocence and cuteness, we still possess the ability to make our moms’ hearts swell with love and burst with joy.

All it takes is a quick drive or phone call and four magic words.

So let me be the first to say them: I love you, Mom.

Mike Mallazzo is a Medill junior. He can be reached at michaelmallazzo2014@u.northwestern.edu. If you would like to respond publicly to this letter, send a Letter to the Editor to opinion@dailynorthwestern.com

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