It is sad but factual; all mothers, like all fathers, are not necessarily good and loving souls. We don’t get to choose either of them. It’s purely a matter of luck: mostly good, but sometimes horrendously bad. So if yours came from the latter group, get even by being the epitome of goodness and love for others.
I was lucky; my mother came from the good group. She’s long-gone now, but not forgotten. With a small element of good luck—we all need some this—she steered me along the good road from birth through adulthood. Her personal sacrifices on my behalf were many.
And she did it by being my MOM, not my friend. She lavished me with love; she nourished my self-esteem as needed; she always made me understand the importance of knowing HOW to think, rather than WHAT to think. And she never hesitated for a second to cut my butt down to size whenever my teenage self-professed omniscience called for it.
As a mid-teens self-anointed intellectual and socially-hip PHENOM, I always resented her unique ability to let me know that I, like the rest of the human race, was 96% wind and water and that I needed to get over myself.
Beginning at the age of about thirteen and going through my latter teen years, I was often convinced that she had to be, if not the dumbest, most certainly one of the world’s most naive adults.
In fact, it wasn’t until I reached my mid-20s and had children of my own that I realized the utter steepness of parenthood’s learning curve. And it blew me away just realizing how astute she had become over a period of about ten short years.
There isn’t a day in my life since she died that I haven’t thought of her at least once. And even though I’m rapidly approaching the age at which she died, I still miss her.
So for all of you loving and deeply caring mothers out there, whether you came by the title through the circumstances of biology or whether you’ve earned the title by extending your maternal bond to some lucky adoptee, you’re all members of the sorority of motherhood.
Happy Mother’s Day to all of you!