I’d always been a die-hard daddy’s girl growing up. My dad and I were so much alike that our bond came naturally and with an ease that few daughters are lucky to understand. He was so cool. While my mom worked on the weekends, he’d take us to hole-in-the-wall diners with questionable sanitary conditions. Sometimes he’d take us to the flea market, give us five bucks, and let us loose. Most times we’d drive through downtown and settle at one of the parks for the day, or the giant water fountain if it was hot enough. Everything felt like an adventure when it was just us and our dad. He was the king of cheap thrills and he was always laid back. Things were different with my mom around. As a kid, I remember her presence was more tense. She wasn’t going to bust balls to make it to my soccer game. She was always the anxious parent at the pool who’d conditioned herself to keep two eyes on six kids, or the frantic woman at the park who couldn’t relax; my little sister has a severe allergy to bees and my mom would be damned if the EpiPen wasn’t an arms length away. For many years, it was my dad I’d call to chat with, my dad I’d go out to dinner with, my dad I’d travel with. It was always my dad.
But I’ll never forget the day my relationship changed between my mom and I forever. I was 20 years old when I came home from work in a frenzy, tears flowing, my world shaking with fear and uncertainty. It was one of the worst days of my life. I ran straight up to my sister’s room and confided in her what I should have told my mom first. My mom had been on my tail as soon as I’d walked in the house, and I still remember her standing in the door way to my sister’s room watching me cry. Her eyes were big with worry, “what is it, Rachel? What’s wrong?” I told her, “I’m… pregnant!” followed by another round of convulsive crying. Her face relaxed slightly and she looked unconcerned. “That’s it? I thought someone died” she said.