Happy Mother’s Day Mom.
I’ve spent my entire 35 years trying to please my very intense, Marine father. However, I have not once felt the need to “try” to make my mother proud. She just always is proud of me and has always made me feel very secure in her love.
I call her every day, with no particular topic or question at hand-just because I enjoy hearing her voice. We are very different people. My daughter is much more like her than I was, am, or ever can aspire to be. They are both people-pleasers, always concerned about others, always trying to make people happy. They have a genuine empathy that is instilled in their hearts and could not be faked. They can both be very affected by things people say or do, albeit unintentional or just an offhand comment. I am much more nonchalant and things roll off my back much more quickly and I am definitely not all sweetness and goodness as those two are.
My mother has set the bar so high for parenting it is almost impossible to attain. She worked full time my entire childhood, cooked meals every single day, packed lunches, did all the laundry, sewed, quilted, gardened, painted and built…she is more Martha Stewart than Martha Stewart. To this day, I ask her to hem pants or fix a pillow or any other chore that to her is routine, but to me a major undertaking. Just recently, she revamped a too-large tablecloth into the right size, making the excess material into matching napkins and pillows for my sun porch. Over the past 15 years she has taken care of her two elderly parents, her aging mother-in-law and helped all of them to die with dignity. She has watched her children have children and has become the role model my daughter so desperately emulates. She is the “fun” Nana who takes B hiking and playing outside and yes, shopping too! She is a fitness fanatic and has instilled that love of the outdoors and exercise in both me and my daughter.
We are so different I sometimes have trouble understanding her reasons and her upsets. When she is stressed out, I have a hard time being compassionate, as that’s not something I “get”. I often say that I won’t allow stress in my life…I feel it is a choice and drama that I don’t have time to allow in. She doesn’t understand the bittersweet feelings of remarriage and divorce and single parenting. She’s been with the same man since she was 19. (She conceived ME on her wedding night)!
Yet, sometimes, she still surprises me with a bout of open-mindedness. Recently I told her the Twilight books were incredibly good and since I don’t usually love fiction and especially not popular fiction, she listened. She’s now on the third book and surprisingly completely addicted! My daughter and I adore movie nights at her house, where we snuggle up and eat junk food.
She is passionate and strong and hopelessly in love with my father. She’s curious and loyal and always there. Getting angry with her can upset me like nothing else can. She’s ridiculously wrapped around my 9 year-olds finger and it both makes me envious and warm inside, all at the same time. I can’t begin to imagine a day when she is not there. I’m not sure I would be able to go on, without her in this world. It gives me hope that my daughter too, might feel I am necessary, needed…long after she actually needs my physical presence every day.
Thank you Mom…I love you. You have done the most exceptional job of mothering I have ever seen. Thank you for giving me everything and then some. For traveling to stores far away so I could have those Guess jeans back in 10th grade. For allowing me all the sports and clubs and activites that kept you running for all my teenage years. For hunting down a Cabbage Patch kid when I was crying each night because I wanted one so badly. For making every Christmas, Easter and even St. Patrick’s Day magical. For gifting me with the most idyllic childhood imaginable. For lying in bed with me, spooning behind me and holding me as I cried myself to sleep, the night my first husband left our home and I drove to your house, 7 months pregnant. For supporting me as I stubbornly held onto my home for three years after leaving my husband. For helping me when I bought a house in a more convenient location. For being so happy when I remarried and built a new family. For….just being. I love you more than you can ever know. And I appreciate it. Every last thing…every day of the last 35 years, and 4 months. There is no other you. How lucky am I?
Happy 35th Mother’s Day Mom.