To my mom.
This morning I had a realization. I am my mother. Of course, I’m not ALL of her. I have a lot of my dad in me too; both played important roles in shaping me. But as I mother my girls, I am slowly learning… I am my mom.
During my latter teenage years, I can remember saying at one point or another (as most daughters do), “I will NEVER turn into my mother! I’ll be different, I’m sure of it!” And I remember the sting of those words in my mom's eyes, because of course, all of us moms… we’re trying to do the best we can possibly do for our children and the whisper of “What if’s?” and “You could’ve done THIS better!” is rarely far from our parenting thoughts.
But this morning, I looked at my little girls while playing, unaware of my stare, and my heart almost burst. And I remember, I had a mom who looked at me like that when I was little. She doesn’t look at me that way anymore, because that would be creepy… but the underlying love that has always been will always be, even though it changes as each of us grow. I burst with joy when I look at my children, because she did the same with me & my brother. I got that from her.
And this week, as I perused through target looking for something to spend my gift card on, I found myself in the children’s section. And the gift card, that was meant for spoiling me… gave me the GREATEST of joys to spend on my girls. And I thought back to my mom. My mom, who would take me to the mall on special occasions and how much joy it brought her to make sure I had a dress for homecoming, a box of maternity clothes when she found out I was pregnant with twins, a lot of black yoga pants when I was grieving and in the middle of my darkest days. It was my mom who said no to herself, and instead spoiled me. Now make no mistake, my parents don’t come from money. Those gifts, were generous sacrifices. Those gifts often meant she would go without. Not without the essentials of course! But the gift cards, the money saved that was meant for spoiling her, would sometimes go to me. And while I joyfully swiped that gift card, I giggled at the thought of my girls enjoying this gift. And it hit me… that giggle, that joy… I got that from her.
And I hear her in my inflections when teaching the girls songs, or new phrases. I hear her when I am the most patient and kind version of myself. When I gently reprimand the girls instead of using the louder parts of my personality… I see her. I feel her impact. When I worry or think what if, I know that she too once worried about similar things. I got that from her.
No, it's not Mother's Day, but I think that's half the point. Your brightest moments weren't on the holidays... although you did shine while making cookies and passing on family traditions. But I think your greatest contribution to my life can be seen in the mundane. In the daily "I love you more than there are stars in the sky." In the kissing of the booboo's. The laundry. The home cooked meals. The laughter. The every day "little" things that you did to give us a safe and happy place to call home & thrive.
So this morning, as I relish in the joys of motherhood, I would be remised if I didn't say... I’m so glad my teenage wish didn’t come true. I’m so glad that although I’m very different from my mom, I’m also the same. And as I play with my girls and enjoy the ups and downs of the day… I can confidently say… I love being a mom, because that too, I got from the best of the best, my mom.
Thanks Mom. I love you to the moon and back.