There are no two ways about it. Even when you’re twelve and she picks you up from the sleepover an hour early. Or when she forces you to eat tomatoes. Or when she squeezes you into your dowdy winter jacket for one last season before you can afford to get another one next year.
Your mother loves you more than you think it’s possible to love anything. Period.
Even as she puts antiseptic cream on your gashed knee after she told you not to run across the skate park. Even when you have tonsillitis and can’t stop throwing up in the night because you have some random bug and you mum feels horribly unqualified and utterly helpless. Even as she’s praying to whatever entity above that she could take your pain and bear it herself, she loves you so much she doesn’t know what to do with herself.
Even when she has to pack your bags for university and she slips a pack of condoms in and you want to die when the cashier makes a meal of ringing it up and your Dad blanches when he sees them. Even when she gently hugs you goodbye because she knows if she holds you any tighter she won’t let go.
Even as they drive home together and she walks into your empty room and clings to your clothes and lets the dust settle around her while she listens to Adele with a glass of wine. Even when you’re calling a week later on facetime with spotty wifi and you ask for her to send up your ratty teddy and some more money for a deposit on accommodation that you aren’t strictly sure you can afford. She loves you.
As she gives away all that she has in the small chance that it improves any aspect of your life and you forget to thank her, she still gives you everything.
You wear her softest jumper that you managed to sneak into your suitcase and when you facetime her next but she’s too busy trying to soak up every minute with you that it barely registers. You wonder briefly that she doesn’t look a little haggard. A little lost. It’ll pass, you decide.
The fact is that your mother gave all of herself and prays every day that you will have it easier than she had it.