Tag Archives: mother’s day

For My Mother, On Mother’s Day

11 May

It’s difficult to put my mother’s role in my life into words. I could be cliché and say that I wouldn’t be who I am today without her. I could say that she always taught me to chase my dreams. I could say that she’s my hero, my role model, my inspiration. All of these things would be true, but they’re words that somehow sound hollow. They don’t really capture the ways she has changed me. My mother is in every crevice of my soul. She is buried deep within my spirit and her influence seeps into my every breath.

To say that my mother sacrificed for me doesn’t even begin to cut it. She worked her ass off when I was a child so that I would want for nothing. My parents struggled financially, but that’s something I never perceived growing up. I had every toy I ever wanted, ordered from every single book order, went on every field trip, had teeny tiny t-shirts from Abercrombie & Fitch, and had tickets to every Backstreet Boys show. She wanted me to have the life that she never had, a better life than she had. It’s a sentiment that many mothers out there have felt, but that mine turned into reality. Was I spoiled? Damn skippy. Did I appreciate it? You betcha. But what my mother has done for me, and what I appreciate even more, is far greater than a room full of superficial possessions.

The thoughts and fears of children are often overlooked by adults. It’s easy to say, “You’re just a kid, you’ll be fine,” or “It’s just a phase, you’ll get over it.” My mother has never done that to me. She has taken every concern I’ve ever expressed seriously. When I was in second grade and I told her I wasn’t happy at the private school I was attending, she could have just brushed my anxieties aside. Instead she listened to me. She understood my unhappiness was serious, and she helped me through the difficult transition of switching schools mid-year. When I was in middle school, and I told her that a boy had made fun of the faint mustache that puberty (that bitch) had placed above my lip, she first told me that I was beautiful, second told me that he was a jerk, and then third helped me get rid of the ‘stache (thank God). There has never been a time in my life where I’ve come to her with a problem and she hasn’t helped me.

But still, what my mother has done for me goes even beyond that. I think the absolute greatest gift my mother has given me is confidence. She taught me from a very young age that I was deserving. Deserving of great things. Deserving of anything that I was willing to work hard for. Deserving of everything. She taught me that not only was it ok to be who I was, but it was absolutely essential. It was her guidance that helped me believe that I was exactly who I was because that’s who I was meant to be. She taught me to embrace every single part of myself, the good, the bad and the ugly. She showed me that I was a person worth knowing, a person worth liking, and a person worth loving, and that I should never settle for even an iota less. She gave me so much ego boosting that I probably had confidence in situations when perhaps I shouldn’t have. (I mean seriously, have you seen my sixth grade picture? It’s not pretty, but thanks to her I sure thought it was.)

Her believing in me was infectious. She made me believe in myself. It was this confidence that helped me go for quality in friends rather than quantity. It helped me wait for the right guy rather than any guy. It kept me in the honor roll, above the influence, and out of trouble. None of this would have been possible without my mother. As a teacher, I have seen firsthand what can happen to a lost and overwhelmed middle school girl without the support of her mother. I know what it looks like to take the other path, and I thank God every day for blessing me with a mother who pushed me down the right one.

It’s not my intention to paint a picture tainted with idealism. Sure, my mother and I had our fair share of fights, and we still do. What mother and daughter doesn’t? Those fights are just minor blemishes in a much larger, beautiful portrait. Some may say that it is an insult to be told, “You’re turning into your mother.” But, if I’m turning into the kind of parent that my mother was for me, then that’s exactly what I want to be.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. I love you.

Me and Mom

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A Mother’s Day Post

13 May

Relationships with mothers (in my experience) are complicated. When I think about it objectively, I guess that’s rightfully so. From the second we’re born, mothers are fighting for our well-being. They want us to be safe, healthy, successful and happy. They put their every waking second into making sure that those things come to fruition and then, when we’re older, they’re forced to step to the side and watch us do things that are dangerous, bad for our health, that don’t better our lives and that often lead to heartbreak. Everything their mother’s intuition has screamed at them to keep us away from, we rush toward in our stubborn and naive efforts to be independent and self-sufficient. Eventually, hopefully, we reach a middle ground. We mature and realize that usually always our mother’s were right. Our mothers shake their heads and acknowledge that yes, sometimes, we have to learn things the hard way. We become more than a parent and a child, we become friends and mutual adults. Despite all this, there is one constant: our mothers never stop wanting us to be safe, healthy, successful and happy.

To say that my own mother has been on a journey the past couple of years is a pitiful understatement. She’s been put through the wringer more times than I can count, and the hell she’s dealt with is not one that I’d wish upon my worst enemies (that is, of course, assuming I had enemies). The fact that she’s still with us today, and that she’s as strong, inspiring and fabulous as she is, is nothing short of a miracle. Though our relationship has had its ups and downs, there’s never been an instant where I have doubted that she’d do anything for me. She is my mother, and I love her.

Today is my third mother’s day that I get to celebrate with the “new” perspective of being a mother myself. Like my own mother, I would do absolutely anything to keep my son safe, healthy, successful and happy. It’s an overwhelming and joyous feeling, and I plan on savoring every moment of it.

Happy mother’s day, to all the mothers out there.