20th Century Women ★★★★½

An ode to my mother:

My mother was born in 1965, so roughly the same age as the protagonist in this film. After meeting my father while in high school, she got pregnant. They were married while she was in her second trimester.

Because my parents were not wealthy to begin with, nor were they educated enough to get high paying jobs, the first 15 years or so of my life were rough economic times: both my parents worked 2 or 3 jobs in order to get a mortgage, pay for all the things a child needs and many of the things that child wants, and live comfortably. My mother worked long hours, went to night school, and to help offset the cost of tuition, marked papers for the program she was in. Somehow, despite all these long hours, she still managed to feed my father and I, clean the house, and make sure I was fashionable enough. The perks of having a teen mom is that she's closer to youth culture than other children's mom.

In 1989, my mom singlehandedly paid for a trip to BC for all us to attend a wedding and managed to buy me a tiny Miami Vice style suit for the wedding (in purple pastels). At the tender age of 4, I was the highlight of the wedding, upstaging the bride.

My mother loves music; growing up, instead of watching old people television, our single TV was almost permanently set to MuchMusic. I was raised on a steady diet of music videos. When Ren & Stimpy became a huge sensation, it was my mother who introduced me to them. She bought a Nintendo in 1989 or 90 for the whole family. She became an expert in Dr. Mario.

I was the first kid in my social group to have AirWalk shoes (they were Chucks-style with old style tattoo art on them). In 1988, I had blue Levis, a mini leather jacket, and aviator sunglasses because George Michael's Faith was top of the charts.

My mom adores smoking. She only switched to vaping because of the health reasons. In the mid 90s, in an effort to save money, she rolled her own cigarettes. She has never openly admitted to smoking pot, but she has alluded to it.

One of my mom's favourite movies is Gone with the Wind and she adores The Little Mermaid. She loves Barbra Streisand and knows all the words to the famous tunes. She is a huge Bon Jovi fan. When she was young, she had a big crush on Leif Garrett and Shaun Cassidy. We watched The Partridge Family on reruns growing up.

I was a snotty kid, a smartass who talked back. I have a sharp tongue and so does my mother. In my teen years, we fought a lot, probably because we're so similar.

My mother and I also share the same depression and anxiety. It's only recently the two of us have been able to be open about it, open about our medication, our problems, our worries. Suicide, for a long time, was a daily thought for both of us, though we never spoke openly about.

When I was in university, my parents got a cat because I'd always wanted one. (They gave up their two original cats when I was born because I have asthma and I'm allergic.) So though Sadie is "my" cat, she is bonded irrevocably to my mother. They have a cuddling routine every night. My mother would die for the cat even if they have a smidge of a love-hate relationship because Sadie claws the furniture.

One of her dreams is to own a tiny teacup piggie.

She really likes Raiders of the Lost Ark though she doesn't really like action movies.

She is an open feminist, and even if her feminism is a bit outdated, she's well-intentioned. She and my father raised me to be feminist, to be empathetic, to be caring. She's always claimed women secretly hold all the power in the world but are too smart to put themselves in the spotlight for fear of reprisal.

She has long thick red hair, like Amy Adams.

I love her so much. She's the best mom ever.

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