I've always wanted to be a mom. For as far back as I can remember all I've ever wanted to be is a mom. I know that's not a hip thing to want these days, but oh well. I think most people either want or don't want kids, based on their own childhood and what kind of parents they had. I mean I know that's a general statement, and sure there are people out there with great parents, who want nothing to do with kids and vise versa. I, however, am one of those girls who had a great mom and therefore wanted to be one. I'd say that proves to be true since both my sisters wanted kids just as much as I did, so I suppose my mom was doing something right.
My mom LOVES kids. She is a teacher and most of her career has taught either kindergarten or first grade. This love of children made her a great mom. She was always more than patient with us, and taught us all the important things a kid should know. Like when to say please, thank you and I'm sorry, as well as how to make chocolate chip cookies. She was always extra loving and compassionate when we were sick. She put up with our constant fighting, and dealt with our surplus of whining. As my kids have gotten older I hear myself channeling phrases of hers from yesteryear. Things like, "you're the oldest and have to set the example", "in or out!", the popular "because I said so, that's why" and especially, "GIIIIRRRLLSSS! WHAT ARE YOU FIGHTING ABOUT NOW??!!", come out of my mouth on a regular basis. I'm sure wine played a role in some of my mom's evenings as it does in mine.
When we hit our teen years, things became a little more, um... tumultuous. My mom was never the typical teenager herself, so she wasn't quite sure what to do with my sisters and me. Truth be told, I was not a terrible teen, as far as bad teens go. I never got into drugs and I think I drank maybe a half a wine cooler on my graduation night. Okay, so I did have sex at 17 with my high school boyfriend, but at least I was smart enough to put myself on the pill beforehand. There was no way I was getting pregnant that young. He was my first love too and not some random guy who was just trying to get me to give it up to him. I wasn't completely stupid.
I did, however, do some serious bitchy talking back, which was our biggest problem. Hey, I was hormonal. I guess the sex thing was a sore spot too, but still I'd say I was pretty tame when you get right down to it. I know friends who did a hell of a lot worse and put their parents through more crap than they care to admit. My sisters weren't terrible either. Beth wasn't anyway. Megan-well, she was worse than me, but my parents were seasoned at that point, so not as shell shocked. Still, we were girls so I think it was just worse in general. Girls are ca-razy, as my husband has pointed out more than once. There was something I heard on the new TV show, Parenthood, last week. Three of the mom characters were talking about their daughters. Two of them had teens and one had a younger daughter, but they were all discussing the problems they were having with each of their girls. Then one of the characters said,
"You know what the problem is with Mothers? Daughters." How true is that?? I mean I understand it from BOTH sides now.
Since I've been an adult, my relationship with my mom has had it's ups and downs, but we've managed to become pretty good friends. I know she doesn't always agree with the choices I've made in my life, or ways I choose to live it, but I think she's gotten to a place where she has learned to let it go...for the most part. We've gotten in our fights, but we always manage to get back to a place of common ground. It's her own fault, in a way. She's the one who always told us she gave us "roots and wings". The roots were our foundation as kids to have a basis on which to grow, and the wings were to spread and go out into the world to be on our own. I've only put into practice what she taught me. I've learned to fully extend my wings, while keeping my roots strongly planted. Plus now I have three kids, who she adores, so that alone pushes me up a few notches in the mom book, no matter what I do.
So, I suppose on this Mother's Day I want her to know what great job I think she did with my sisters and me. Like I said, we all couldn't wait to start our own families and we all seem to be doing a pretty good job being moms ourselves. Not to toot my own horn or anything, but TOOT! The fact of the matter is she was and is the inspiration for me, and I'm pretty sure both my sisters. If she wouldn't have been such a great mom, I'm certain I wouldn't be where I am today, as a mother or as an adult.
Thank you for kissing all my boo-boos, wiping all my tears and still giving me love, even when I said I didn't like you so much. Thank you for helping me take care of each of my girls after they were born and scrubbing my kitchen floor. Thank you for teaching me how to cook and even how to clean. I understand how much you love me and how incredibly unconditional that love is. It was something I didn't quite understand until I became a mother myself, but I do now. I totally get it. All of it. This is a damn hard job and you made it look so easy I had three of 'em! If I can be half as great a mom to my three girls as you were to us, I know they will become three amazing women someday, that's if we all survive their teen years.
Just know, no matter what, how much I appreciate you. Thank you mommy. Thank you for all that you did and all that you continue to do. I love you more than you know! Happy Mother's Day.