With Mother’s Day this weekend, I am thinking about my mom and how she has shaped the mom I am myself. I remember my own teen years (sometimes with embarrassment) and marvel that she handled them with such calm and dignity. I now live too far away to spend the day with her, but I know she reads everything I write, so I want to thank her for some things she taught me.
Thanks, Mom, for listening to my teen drama, which in hindsight was all about ridiculousness (which of course you realized at the time). You managed to not point out how silly I was being (this I confess, I struggle to emulate with my own teens). You never made me feel insignificant, that my concerns were trivial or unfounded.
Thanks for forcing me to make decisions. Though I found it maddening when you refused to tell me what to do when faced with a choice, it has served me well in life. I now know how difficult it is to allow your child to possibly fail, or how challenging it is to determine when you can sit back and when you need to step in.
Thank you for letting me be my own person. I imagine that there were times you bit your tongue hard enough to make it bleed rather than tell me to do things differently. I know that I was high-spirited from a young age and that you ignored advice to “break” me, to tamper that spirit. I think we are both stronger women because of your choice.
Thank you for supporting me when I chose a different path than the one you recommended and loving me even when I was making mistakes. You recognized that mistakes are perhaps life’s best teachers and that some lessons needed to be learned the hard way.
Thanks for the hugs and for always loving me, even when my behavior was despicable. Understanding that my anger and frustration was not hatred had to be difficult. Rejection hurts, especially when it is coming from your own child. It is tough to not take it personally, but to see it as a stage in growing up.
Thanks for being a friend, someone I can confide in and go to for advice. I am particularly grateful that I have learned to emulate this with my own children. It is a delicate balance, unlike any other friendship, but as my children grow, our relationships change and deepen. I don’t expect (or want) to know everything about their lives, but what we do share is treasured.
Thanks for sharing these things with me (and so much more). I am the mom I am because of the mom you are.