Becoming My Mother
As Mother’s Day approaches, I only have one person on my brain: my mother. Even though I too, am a mother now – I know full well that I would not be half of the mother I am today if it were not for my mama – the strong, fearless, and giving woman that she is.
As women, it is often said that eventually, you’ll become your mother. It’s almost laughable that I used to consider this a bad thing. In fact, as a teenager, I couldn’t bear the thought of this. My mother kept me on a tight leash. She was strict, she didn’t let me wear eyeliner and wouldn’t let me smoke cigarettes or hang out with boys that were in college. Ridiculous, mom, thanks a lot (teenage angst voice).
But, seriously mom, thanks. In hindsight, I’d rather my child NOT become the teenager I was.
As a girl in my 20’s, trying to find a place in the world for myself, it’s like I was destined to make every mistake possible, just because. My mother tried her hardest to steer me in the right direction so I clearly chose to go the opposite way, each and every time. You don’t know me, mom, you don’t know what I need! Bad career choices? Check. Know-it-all attitude? Absolutely. Relationships that left me heartbroken? Yes please, the more the merrier!
But, seriously mom, thanks for knowing what I needed, and being there to pick up the pieces after each mistake. In hindsight, I’d prefer it if my daughter doesn’t insist on defying me when I’ll only be trying to help.
At the end of my 20’s, after a horrific car accident broke me from the neck down, my life came crashing down around me, and all of it was broken too. My first phone call was to my mother. I don’t remember making the call, and I certainly don’t remember how, but my first phone call was to my mother, who was far away in Florida, while I was laying in an ambulance somewhere on Long Island. She was on the next flight, that mother of mine – coming to pick up the pieces for what felt like the hundredth time. But seriously mom, how were you not sick of me by then? Thanks for being there.
In hindsight, it was the best call I’ve ever made.
It was like I was a baby again, and I needed my mom for everything. From bathing, to brushing my teeth, to being fed, I had to rely on my mother for my basic survival, since I didn’t have a leg to stand on (no pun intended). It was in this time that hindsight set in. Like life flashing before my eyes, every bad decision my mother had warned me about and begged me not to make replayed over and over in my mind, taunting me with that same angst-filled tone I was so good at, shouting “I told you so,” at the top of its lungs.
But if I had listened, I never would have hit bottom, and I never would have learned to appreciate the power of my mother actually knowing best. I never would have opened my eyes and figured out the changes I needed to make in my life. I never would have ended up here, now, with the life I had always dreamed of.
Jeez, I’m a mom now, with a daughter who will likely make a whole bunch of mistakes that will transform her into a stronger and better person – and I know I’ll be there for her, every step of the way.
So, on this Mother’s Day, my second as a mom, I’ve decided I’m becoming my mother. In every sense of the word. In every loving, generous, empowering way I can be – just so I can be like her and ensure my daughter is just as lucky as I continue to be.
There’s just no other way I can do this motherhood thing without relying on all of the forgiveness and strength my mother always seemed to be full of, even in my worst moments.
I’m becoming my mother so that my daughter will always feel supported.
I’m becoming my mother so my daughter will always have a port in the storm.
I’m becoming my mother so no matter what mess my daughter finds herself in, I can help her, show her rather, how to clean it up.
I’m becoming my mother so that ultimately, I know I’m doing something right on this adventure of raising my daughter.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom.