With Mother’s Day just around the corner, I’m thinking a lot lately about mothers…obviously. For one…I am a mother, and two…I have a mother. Well, I had a mother but she died. Long story short, she was an amazingly funny, pretty, talented, left side of the brained lady who went through a period in her life where she didn’t feel like she was any of those things (except for the left brained part) and took a diet drug in the late 90’s that made her skinny for about a year, but ultimately led to a fatal heart condition. She died 9 days after my first was born. I don’t mean to be a downer, but I can’t think about motherhood without thinking about her, and I can’t write about my thoughts on motherhood without giving her credit for her mothering of me.
|This is my favorite picture of my mom because she never played guitar.|
|Mom and Me, the big red hair days.|
Once you become a mother an amazing thing happens to you. A light bulb in your head goes off. You know… the one that your mom always told you would once you had kids. You remember the phrase that echoes through most of our childhoods; “When you have kids you’ll understand why I won’t let you wear that shirt that shows off your mid drift to brunch at the Country Club.” (well, maybe not that exact phrase but something like it…don’t judge me man). This is scary true, especially the older your kids get. As my children grow, so does my remorse for all the bad behavior my mother had to endure from me. It’s really too bad she didn’t live to be able to sit back and watch the show. I can hear her voice in my head saying “Oh dear, your daughter is screaming at you because you won’t let her eat Oreos for breakfast? She ran to her room and slammed the door like a teenager? What ARE you going to do when she is a teenager and she’s sneaking out in the middle of the night to meet boys and smoke cigarettes? Seems like you’ve got your hands full Spookie!”. Spookie was her pet name for me. It bugged the bejeezus out of me. I’m sure as much as it bugs my son now when I call him pokeabo, which is of course why I do it in front of his friends.
You’re mother knows you better than anyone else could possibly know you. I know that not every mother has a good relationship with their children. Not every mother knows how to connect with her kids. But I guarantee you that unless your mom is a sociopath (and there are a few of those out there), I’m willing to bet that she can see where your head is at without you even saying a word. I used to be amazed that my mom could detect an illness by just seeing my face. “What’s wrong Spookie? You got a sore throat?”, “Actually, yea mom…I do.”. I never understood how she could do that, until I had kids. It’s a mom’s super power that can work for you or against you. Remember that time(s) in high school you told your mom that the reason you spent all morning in the bathroom worshiping the toilet gods was because you got food poisoning from something you ate at the mall’s food court the night before? You dumb ass…she knew about that. Especially if your of my generation. Our moms were teenagers in the 60’s. They knew we were up to.
Ladies, I’ve got news for you. You ARE turning into your mother. It’s genetic accept it. And, in the cases where it’s not genetic, you’re still turning into the woman who raised you. This is a good thing because you are a product of everything your mom did right AND wrong. If you play your cards right and pay attention, you won’t make the mistakes she made with you and you’re kids will grow up to include you in their acceptance speeches at vocational school award ceremonies. (You thought I was going to say law school didn’t you?)
|You are your mother. The sooner you get this, the better off you’ll be.|
Gentlemen, I’ve got news for you. Your wife is not your mother. I know that all men marry women that remind them of their mothers somehow. This is good of course because if you can find a girl who loves you half as much as your mom does then you are half way to a successful partnership. BUT…. don’t expect her to pick up your mess. You’re mom only did it because it was programed into her DNA to feel obligated to do so. If my son only learns one thing from me in life I hope it’s that.
So this Mother’s Day, show your mom some love. And if you’re like me and you’re mom has moved on from this life, pass on the love she showed you to the closest people to you. That would make her proud of you…trust me…she’s watching you.