Today it’s Mother’s Day and it’s raining so I don’t think I’ll go outside for a run but I’ll definitely Tabata and probably soon. As I sit here I am thinking about today and what it really means to me. I’ve never been one for attention, I avoid center stage like the plague but gracefully I like to think. I didn’t even feel comfortable at my wedding having everyone watch me even though it was one of the best days of my life….barring 3. The day my children were each born to me is by far the greatest game changer for me. All of a sudden I was now responsible for this little beautiful baby who had faith that I would do a good job…instant panic and unfathomable love at the very same moment. I was in love with them the minute I saw them and have been addicted to them ever since. Maybe it’s because my mother didn’t seem all that addicted to me that I’ve become this person who can’t stand not talking to them or seeing them every few days now that 2 of 3 are adults and starting their own lives. I don’t remember my mother coming to all my sporting events, not that I had a ton but I did play soccer in elementary school and basketball one season in high school. She never took me to visit a college or applied for FAFSA or had long conversations with me about financial prowess. My mother and I never watched TV together, had long conversations on the phone or took vacations together. My mom was just “mom”. The lady who made the rules, paid the bills and was always there for me IF I should need her for anything or IF there were basic necessities of life I might need. I never went without even when we had nothing including money for food. She put braces on my teeth with her entire tax return that year when I’m sure she could have bought herself something nice. She taught me right from wrong through life’s experiences, she bought me my first car, put clothes on my back until I could buy my own, made sure I finished high school and yelled at me when she needed to. My mom gave me everything in terms of basics which was more than her mother, an alcoholic, did for her. Her life did not consist of very many good mothering moments from my grandmother so I am not even sure how she did for me what she never received. My mother is not a television perfect Brady Bunch mother by any stretch of the imagination and we are by no means “close” or tight if you will. My mother did the best that she could and I am lucky that she cared about me to get me off on my own without any major issues. She loves me in her way and is just a call away if I miss her. There are things about my mother that bother me and there are things that I wish were different that just won’t change no matter how much I want them to but to accept someone for their flaws and quirks is to love them thoroughly. I am a lucky woman because I have a mom who did the best she could with an asshole first husband (my father) who did nothing to support us other than write a check sometimes on a regular basis. She struggled but always found a way to get me the basics…. she’s “just mom”.
As I sit here thinking about my children and wondering if I have done enough for them to create the things I miss in my relationship with my mother, to make our bond tighter and happier, I think about things like
- My son John Snap chatting me every day even just funny pictures of him with a HI written on it.
- He Skypes us a lot just to see us and so we can see him.
- He’s stayed up until 3am cleaning my house just because he wanted to do it for me
- He tells us he loves us in front of his friends
- He brags about my cooking and invites his friends over to “experience” it like it’s a gourmet meal
- He kisses and hugs me a lot
- My daughter Katy calls me every single day when I don’t see her just to say hello and that she loves me
- She calls me to ask my opinion about lots of stuff
- She complains to me because she knows it’s safe
- She is thoughtful and kind and loving and I know that is my effect on her over the years
- She cries when other people have sad things happen….also my doing
- She kisses and hugs me a lot
- My son James knows he can tell me a line from a comedy routine a million times and I’ll find it funny every time
- He kisses and hugs me a lot
- He likes to watch movies with me
- He complains to me because he knows its safe
- He tells me how his day really was when it didn’t go well
- He rides his bike with me when I run just to make sure I’m safe
There are so many things and these are just the tip of the iceberg that remind me that I have made a difference to them. I am not “Just Mom” but I’m “MOM” and they love me and I have given them things they need to be good people, kind people, happy people. They are all independent in their own ways or at least finding their way there in their own time. They are considerate, polite and well liked and have friends. They all still ask to do things even though 2 of them are adults not needing to have my permission, because they feel like it’s respectful to do so. They all like being here at home with each other during the holidays because they want to be together as a family…BOOM! Job well done mom!
I am a different person since having them. I have learned so much from them and about them and I look up to each of them for many reasons. I couldn’t be without them because they have given my life meaning and color and joy every single day since they arrived on the planet. They make me smile when I’m sad, they pulled me out of a horrible place through my love for them and they are just my Nexus if you are a Star Trek fan. Being a mom isn’t easy. It’s hard and rewarding, frustrating and ridiculous sometimes but it’s perfectly imperfect and perfect at the same time. If I had to sum up motherhood I would simply say that it is a journey of unconditional love, joy and learning. I’m not a perfect mom by any stretch of the imagination but I did my very best to do my best each and every day and I believe that it made a difference to me and to my children. Mom is the best job I ever took on and I thank my children for this journey that we are on. I love each of you tremendously with all my heart and wish the same experience for you that you have given to me. You each turned out great!