Teanice. My mother, my friend.

When I came into this world it was just my mom and me. Apparently my dad was out trying to park the car somewhere. Anyway. Teanice and Jade. Jade and Teanice. It’s just about always been us since then (to me at least, because I definitely have a thing where I see my mom as my mom only and recognize no other roles in her life. One of the many things I’m working on, okay).

She’s been there with me since the very beginning- literally I am of her. It shows.

Teanice is pretty much my best friend.

She’s my absolute favorite person to go out with, and not just because I’m guaranteed to not have to spend my own money when we do, but also because I can be my true, unfiltered self and know she’s still gonna love me when the night is over. I’m a lot to take in LOL. Just last week, upon my arrival from school, we went to grocery store to grab some stuff for the fridge because no there isn’t any food in this house. To the store associates I must’ve been acting a fool but not to Teanice. Just Jade being Jade. My happy, unbothered, loud, and slightly obnoxious self. My mom knows that girl all too well.

And when it comes to the gossip we’re on the same page and then turning them together. You know how you can see or overhear something and then look to your friend with the ‘girrrllll’ face? Yeah that’s my mom and me all day every day. In the car. At the grocery store. In church. Especially the mall. And then, when the look isn’t immediately executable, we’ll notice things and hold onto them until we leave the particular space and be ready to tell one another the same instances during our debrief. No thought left behind.

There’s no such thing as a boring outing with my mother. Probably because we’re the same person. I’m just 30 years younger. (I especially love going to old folk concerts and lunch dates with her and my second mom, her sister Myrna. She’s a bestie too.)

When we aren’t acting a fool or joking it up, my mom is my confidant. I tell Teanice literally everything. E-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. Way more than I probably should, if I’m being honest. Anything I’ve shared on this platform I shared with my mom likely moments after it occurred, plus the juicy details and all- though she rarely can keep any of them straight. A lot of the boy, grades, purpose, and depression related things she’s guided me through every step of the way. She’s loved me when I didn’t love myself, encouraged me when I felt there was nothing left, and never let me go so far down that she couldn’t help pull me up.

She’s an amazing friend in that way.

But even when things aren’t all peaches and cream, her love for me remains the same. She’s my mom before she’s my friend. Friends don’t watch while I slam the door in their face and then open it, asking if my hand is okay. (My mom doesn’t either because I don’t pay no bills to be slamming doors in this house, but you get what I’m saying.)

Teanice and I don’t have the perfect mother-daughter relationship, if one even exists. We get on one another’s nerves. Talk too much when the other is trying to enjoy some peace. Respond too little when the other is clearly excited about whatever it is they’re sharing. We have disagreements and dare I say “argue” but that energy is null and void when it comes to someone’s wellbeing.

One instance from this summer, which also is set in a grocery store as that’s a frequent outing for Teanice and me, can attest to that. Maybe five days prior my mom and I had been going at it and I’d spent the days after avoiding the house and her at all costs, seeking something else. To make a long story short, I turned to an old ‘friend’. But the moment that backfired and the sense of refuge I’d thought I found hurt me, my mom was there to pick up the pieces. I can laugh about it now but y’all. I was fully in the middle of Wal-Mart crying. Like in the aluminum foil aisle. Crying about the “why would he” and “I never even” and so on. And she was there. Wiping my tears and trying to get me to a space where I wouldn’t even shed them.

Her love for me is unconditional. It has to be. With all I’ve said and done to hurt my mom’s feelings, her love for me has never changed.

I’ve just spent however many words talking about my mom and you’re probably wondering what the point to all of this is. I’m not quite sure I can articulate one. I’m not quite sure I can articulate a lot of things when it comes to my mom. She’s deserving of so much more than the words I can think to say.

I’ve heard or more likely have read somewhere that motherhood comes with no handbook. No guide. You kind of learn as you go and don’t always get everything right. One thing that my mom’s always gotten right is love. I’ve been annoyed. I’ve felt jealousy. I’ve felt anger. I’ve even felt misunderstood. But I’ve never not felt loved.

Happy Mother’s Day to my mom, Miss Wells. Love you, sis.

– Jade M Ernest

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