I am not comfortable with the idea that parents should be loved and forgiven no matter what solely because they are our genetic reasons for being. I know some horrible stories about the way mothers have treated their children (my husband being prime example) but I know there are many people out their who miss their mothers and/or practically worship them, so I don’t want to tarnish their concepts of what Mothers are or should be or disrespect the relationships they’ve had.
I don’t even like breaking down the whole mother father paradigm and acknowledgment. We live in a society that includes families wherein children are raised by no Moms, two Moms, no fathers, two fathers, grandparents, neighbors, extended family, guardians, older siblings, the state, etc. etc. I don’t think this should preempt anyone from celebrating their parent of choice or acknowledging that they were or are amazing people, however. I think we should all celebrate the people we love, respect and admire anytime we can in whatever way we can and not wait for some predesignated day to do so.
Having said all that, I will also say this: I was fortunate to be raised by someone who showed amazing strength in a very difficult situation, who managed to provide for her children and survive a lot of hardship and thrive as a human being. There was always love and concern there for us as we needed, but there were also a lot of mistakes and pain, which happened because she is human and, despite what kids think of their Moms, they are not perfect. They make mistakes. They get scared and angry and hurt and jealous and petty some times, just like the rest of us.
I stopped needing or requiring my mom to take care of me at a very young age. Once I was out on my own, I was out and, despite a brief stint of unemployment where I crashed on her couch for a few weeks, I have never needed to recreate that dependent relationship with her again. I started treating my mom like an adult person a long time ago and this has not always sat well with her or the rest of my family. I call her on things that I disagree with, I am honest when I think she tries to interfere with my life without invitation or disrespects me or my choices and I have found some of her words and actions, if not unforgivable, at least unforgettable. But I will never forget what she has done for me and my family, the sacrifices she has made and the lessons she taught us through her words and actions. I will never forget how she welcomed my husband (then boyfriend) into my family without hesitation and showed him the love and respect and acceptance he didn’t get from his own parents. I will never forget how she has continued to put her children first, to her own physical and financial detriment, and taught me, above all, to value other human beings, always help another person when I can, share all my fortune with those around me and to do the best I can with what I have. My cleanliness and organization skills, my silliness and love of laughter, my strength in the face of adversity and my pride and respect in myself and who I am come directly from her influence.
No, I do not worship my Mom. We are not connected at the hip and I do not need her to navigate my life or hold me up when I am down. I see her and talk to her far less than I probably should, and I still get very frustrated with the struggle between us as I try to live my life as I see fit while she tries to suggest I live it elsewise. But I do love and accept her for who she is and what she’s done and she will always hold a special place in my heart for being the Mom I needed when I was younger and protecting and providing for us in our formative years, allowing us to safely grow to become the adults that we are. No, I do not need my mom to be who I am now, but I would never have been this person without her help along the way.
SO for that, I am grateful and say thanks.
Happy Mothers day to all those men and women who fill that role for children, friends and even pets…for giving your love, guidance and support to the people and animals who need it. And a big hug to those of you whose mothers are no longer here to celebrate the day with you – so long as you care for yourself and others and show compassion and love to the people around you, friend and stranger alike, you are honoring the very essence and nature of motherhood and those that filled that role for you at one time. There could be no greater gift or recognition.