in praise of mothers- 5.8.15
This is it, the time of year when Hallmark pulls out all the stops and urges even the most curmudgeonly among us to honor and celebrate our moms. Never one to gravitate toward the preprinted sentiments that populate these cards, I must nevertheless recognize that the hyperbole (“You are my rock; you have always been there for me,” among others) is rooted in something real, an authentic manifestation of this primary (and often primal) relationship: the relationship between mother and child.
I am a mother. And I am lucky enough to still have my own mother around, too. Based on those two facts, and based on the countless conversations I have had throughout my personal and professional lives with other mothers, here is what I have come to know:
· Mothers really do fiercely, overwhelmingly love their children. For a mother, the pain her child experiences is greater than any pain she experiences herself. Her children’s moments of triumph make her heart swell with such pride it hurts.
· Mothers drive their children crazy. Moms worry so much about their kids that they try to navigate, well in advance of nothing, every eventuality that may occur in their offspring’s lives. This drives children crazy, but when they become parents themselves, they understand why their moms did so in the first place.
· Mothers are sometimes mean. Or, at least, that is how it appears. They make their children handle a tough situation on their own and refuse to intervene when it would be so much easier to do so. What their children don’t know is that that meanness is a gift. The strength built in a young person who has handled her own challenges is of incalculable value.
· Mothers always have their children’s backs. Even if those children are making poor decisions. They won’t excuse poor decisions, but they will be cheering their kids on when they are busy digging themselves out of their mess.
· I don’t care how old you are, you are still a baby in your mother’s eyes.
One day, even when you cannot find the words and you are afraid you will sound just like a Hallmark card, you will know. You will realize the totality of her love, her commitment to your wellbeing, and her unadulterated pride in your accomplishments, big and small. And no matter how old you are, it will fill your heart.
This one is for you, mom. Happy Mother’s Day!
Friday May, 8, 2015 at 07:31AM
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