It’s Mothers’ Day. Today is a day that not every mom gets to celebrate because a lot of us do it on our own, and our kids are too little to understand. So you just keep on keeping on as if it’s just another day. If you are a mom that won’t get any special treatment today, know that I celebrate you, because I’ve been there, and it can be a tough day, reminding you of your single-ness. But it should also remind you of your strength. Find some way to treat yourself today. I’m cheering you on.
I don’t often know what to say when people tell me I’m a good mom. My mind immediately fixates on the last time I was not a good mom, as if to provide proof of the contrary. You see, no one knows the true quality of my mom-ness except for The Boy. He’s the one who sees me as a mom at my best and at my worst. Kind of like a married couple — no one can see inside that relationship except those two people. You may get glimpses, but never the whole picture. But unlike a married couple, The Boy didn’t consciously sign up for this relationship with me, and neither does any kid on the whole planet. You don’t get to choose your own mom.
That’s the reason I am so glad I have the mom I do. I know quite a few people whose moms were really, spectacularly not-good. And that’s a hard thing. Moms are so much to those of us who have them. They are our first and last teachers, they are our home, they are our comfort, they are the voice of reason. Mine also happens to be one of my best friends.
Let me be clear that she was NOT my best friend when I was growing up. She was my mom, and she never once fell into that trap that today’s parents tend to – making poor parenting decisions because they are afraid their child won’t like them. Bleh. Nope. Mom was Mom with clear expectations, and consequences (although she will say she never had to use them because I was such a good kid – she forgets how messy my room was, and how she threatened to come in with a garbage bag and throw everything on the floor in it, and hence in the garbage).
She taught me how to put on pantyhose, how to jitterbug, and how to drive a stick. But more importantly, she taught me how to mother. She never told me to clean my plate, only to eat until I was full. She read to me all the time when I was little, and we read near each other as I got older, my dad often calling us “the bookends” because we were often on either end of the couch, sharing a blanket, and reading. We still do this, to this day. She taught me to cuddle, kiss, and hold hands often. She taught me to listen without passing judgment (at least not right away). She taught me to accept differences, respect hard work and education, and value independence. She taught me the importance of believing in and loving myself.
I can only hope that I am teaching my own son these things, as well. But if I fail, I know she’s got my back, because she also happens to be the best Grammy in the world, too.