#510 Hanging out with your mom

My mom and I saw a movie the other night.

I zoomed up the highway from my downtown apartment and she got a lift through the quiet sidestreets of my hometown. She had a big smile when I got there and was waiting in the lobby wearing lipstick and a cream cable knit sweater. She had the tickets pre-purchased and a purse packed with white chocolate, mixed nuts, and two bottles of water.

A plump n’ perky assistant manager with curls waterfalling out of her tight ballcap ripped our tickets and pointed us down the hall. We passed a couple glossy-eyed teens holding mops and texting as we walked into the theater and had a quick discussion — Where do you want to sit? Where do you want to sit? Wherever you want to sit — before grabbing a couple in the middle of the red plushy tundra.

Now, my mom’s five feet tall so her legs dangled from the chair, her clean gray spongy-soled sneakers swaying like a kid on a swing set. We chatted, chilled, and chowed down on chocolate before leaning back for the start of the show.

My mom fell asleep in twenty minutes.

I elbowed her softly and her eyes popped open. She looked at me, laughed guiltily, and whispered in a mock-cranky tone “It’s past my bedtime!” She then watched a few more minutes before dozing off again. After a couple more elbow jabs, I eventually just let her go.

When the credits started rolling and the house lights turned up we put on our coats on and made our way down. “So what did you think of the ending?” I asked with a big smile. “I liked the way they wrapped things up,” she straight-faced back, holding the metal handrail and single-stepping down the stairs.

I drove her home down the quiet, wet-slicked roads, through empty intersections, past my old school, and the park where my sister and I had soccer practice. When we reached the house she smiled groggily, gave me a big hug, and said come back soon.

As I zipped down the highway into the bright city lights my brain photo-flashed back … to blurry images of late-night rides through those same empty intersections, front row seats at school plays, and cold wobbly lawn chairs sitting patiently on the sidelines at soccer practice…

Happy Mother’s Day, everybody.


Join us live in Toronto next week!

— Email message —

“hey neil: i don’t know what i would do without my mom. i decided that i’m going to give her the book of awesome for mom’s day. :) now that’s awesome!” – Molly

Photos from: here, here and here

67 thoughts on “#510 Hanging out with your mom

  1. Awww, I came home this weekend to see MY mom (four hours away)!

    Happy mother’s day to all the mommies out there :D

    1. I just lost my 88 year old mother 2 weeks ago.
      It has been a sad time. We were very close but your story of going to the movies brought back all the happy memories of spending time with my Mom.
      One particular memory is spending my birthday with her each year.
      I brought pink carnations every year as it was her “birth” day as well. She has stayed in bed over 4 months so I could be born.
      She was a remarkable woman and I am so proud when people say I am like her.
      Enjoy your special moms on this day

  2. aww so love that second photo with the mummy hippo nudging her baby hippo, so sweet :)

  3. It’s not just the idea of this post, but the beautiful way you wrote it, that makes me smile. Awesome.

  4. Hey Neil,
    Just wanted to stop by and say that I too bought The Book of Awesome for me mum. Keep up the good work. I look here often for inspiration during the hard times I have at school and when things in my long distance relationship are going wrong.
    Thank You So Much,

  5. My mom is one of my best friends. I don’t know what I would do without her. I don’t get to see her much nowadays, but I love hanging out with her. We’ll go shopping, walking, or just stay in at her house and watch tv or play with my daughter.
    I actually get to see her tomorrow…its been since March since we got to hang out. I’m taking her the mother’s day gift I made and she’s taking me to the land that she just bought.

  6. I love my mom, and it doesn’t matter what we’re doing; sitting on the couch reading and drinking tea, going shopping, or taking the dog for a walk, I love her, and I would do anything for her. She’s my mom and hanging out with her always ends up making my day.

    Happy mother’s day to all the mom’s out there, half of us would be lost without you.

    1. Actually, NONE of us would be here without our moms : )!

      But sweet thoughts here! Reminds me that for some of us in the middle — with both mothers and children — Mother’s Day is especially poignant. Both celebrating and being celebrated.

  7. I took a sick day from work just so I could go spend the day with my mom! It’s been too long.

    1. Don’t try to fight it and not think about. Do something that brings up those joyful memories you had together.

  8. I lost my mom 6 years ago, and not a day goes by that I don’t miss “hanging out with her”. Thank you for reminding me of all the wonderful memories I have of just being with my mom :-)

    There are so many AWESOME things I have to remember her by. As much as it hurts not having her here with me, I am grateful for the awesome things she has left behind.


  9. My mom’s also only five feet tall, and I love the way her feet dangle from chairs as if she were a little kid.

  10. A bittersweet post – bitter because my mom passed away last October, so this is my first mother’s day without her.

    Sweet because she and I saw a lot of movies! She would gladly accompany me to see ANY movie – Coen brothers, Clerks, Full Monty, Hard Day’s Night re-release… anything. We would laugh and have long serious discussions… AWESOME!

  11. This is extra cool because I have plans to go to the movies with my mom tonight. :)

    Happy Mother’s Day, mommies!

  12. Not only did this web site inspire me to create my mothers day gift I made little notes of all the fun moments we have shared together, the simple little things like “making pan cakes after a sleep over in the shape of our initials” but I also got her the Book of AWESOME…. and took her to see the Movie Oceans. It was a perfect Mothers Day celebrated early because she had to work on Mothers Day.

    Keep celebrating the small things in life and your days will be filled with Joy! :)


  13. I actually just lost my mother April 9th, so I was thinking that Mother’s day was going to be the worst day of the year. Because I live on the other side of the country for school, I can’t even spend my time with my family. This post has made me change my mind. Instead of thinking that she’s gone, I’m going to remember the good times: watching cheesy movies, listening to her read a book to me, laughing about my day. I’ll remember her telling me she’s proud of me. And that is totally awesome.

    1. Tracy, you are inspiring.
      I’m very sorry to hear of the very recent loss of your mom. Last year I lost my dad about a month before father’s day, and it was a really difficult time.

      Remembering the happy and special times you spent with your mom will be a wonderful way to honour her and I hope it will bring you some healing and comfort.
      All the best from a perfect stranger.

  14. My Mom passed away a few weeks ago. Every day is hard, but Sunday will be harder. Thankfully I was blessed with having her in my life for almost 50 years.

    I miss you Mom. :(

  15. Wish I could my Mom passed away 6 weeks before John and I were married of cancer. I love her very much and wish she could have seen her grand children she would have loved them very much… Love you mummy miss you lots and love you still as much today as when you were alive…I miss you Mom.

  16. I couldn’t have made it these past months without her. She flew up, dragged me out of bed and made me take my life back.

    It’s amazing how the things I hated about her in high school are the things I love today. We fought like cat & dog. Now, we’re best friends. She’s waiting for me to have kids for my “payback”.

      1. I totally do that and I’m not a mom! Haha … for me it’s a combination of having a sizable purse and not wanting to pay 400% for movie theater candy :D

        1. *this*!!
          the convenience store near my movie theater actually has an end cap set up just for “movie snacks” it cracks me up :)

          my friend doesn’t even sneak anymore, he brings a bag of mcdonalds in and no one has ever stopped him.

  17. That’s funny because I just hung out with my mom today for the first time in months… And I live with her. It was an amazing day.

  18. My mom came to visit me in England for a couple of days recently. It was the first time she’d flown so far from home (South Africa).

    Many precious moments, but like you said about the sleeping in the movie, there’s something precious about watching her fall asleep while you’re watching TV and then pretending that she ‘really enjoyed the show’.

    Bless our moms – what would be without them.

  19. I got The Book Of Awesome today and I’m reading it right now. I was actually out hunting for a book for my mom for Mother’s day with my sister and dad. My sis finally selected a book. My dad said that we could each get something for ourselves. I’m looking around and this black book with the word AWESOME in rainbow letters caught my eye. Being my favorite adjective, I had to check it out. So far, I absolutely love it. So without my mom, I would never have found this book. Stay awesome Neil. Thanks Mom.

    1. Also, whenever my sis and I fight, my mom always tells us to stop because there’ll be one day when we need each other. And you really don’t realize how much you need your parents around until they’re gone. I’m going away for a few days soon, and I’m up crying at night thinking about how much I’ll miss my family. Then my mom comes in and tells me that I shouldn’t be worried, I’ll have a lot of fun… etc. I already know all of this, but sometimes it just takes your mom’s words to make everything right. :)

  20. This is my first year away from home at college and I’m best friends with my mom, so it’s been difficult. Unfortunately I don’t get to spend Mother’s Day with her, but I plan on making it up when I get home! She is the most amazing mother and I love her so much! Whenever she’s feeling down, I show her this Web site and it helps to cheer her up. Thanks Neil!

  21. I just realized that talking into a fan so your voice sounds like a robot has never been featured on 1000 Awesome Things despite being one of the most awesome things out there.

    1. That’s a good one! And how about that feeling of elation when you were in school and the teacher used your work as a good example?

  22. my mom passed away when I was 10. 19 years later, it still hurts and i don’t like mothers day. I teared up reading this post, and wish that I could see my mom, if only for her to see the man I’ve become. Happy Mothers Day mom!

  23. I got kicked out of a movie theater bringing my own food. My argument was that the concession prices were ridiculous….besides, I hadn’t had a BBQ in a while.

    Steven Wright.

  24. Yes! And going out to eat and being really hungry. Then going to the bathroom and coming back to see that your food is on the table!!

  25. I read this while sitting on the couch watching Mexican soccer while my mom sat next to me reading one of those romance novels she loves so much.

  26. Had such a cool time on sunday just playing UNO with my mom… and going for a walk… and just gossiping. Definitely on my list of awesome things…

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