Mothers day is around the corner and although my family has never been overly festive on this day; (Mother’s Day tended to be more about the wonderful Grandmothers in our life) I must say that I am rather touched by all the articles I’m seeing about people’s relationships with their mothers – because the older I get, the more emotional I get. I guess the old saying is true, that we really do become our mothers.
Here is mine:
Before I dive into my relationship with my mother (which is great by the way) it’s important to note that she has always adored her own mother and held a close relationship to her. I was brought up with endless stories about what her life was like growing up, and how her mother’s values impacted and guided her in the years to follow.
When I was eleven or twelve, I had my first experience with death as I witnessed my mom, lose her mom. I was young and of course missed my grandmother, but didn’t have much of an understanding of grief and how it shapes and affects us. What I do remember is how my mom handled the after math with so much strength and poise although she probably didn’t feel like that at the time.
Still to this day a photo, memory or video of my grandmother can move her to tears which is both baffling, and very touching to see. I admire my mom’s vulnerability and her courage in equal portions. I also feel that her connection to her mom, has shaped how we (my sister’s and I) are bonded to our mom.
A short story about Mom and Me:
I am the middle sibling of three girls and I can tell you that when I first learned about my little sister, Mel’s impending arrival, I was NOT impressed. I struggled for many years with this new baby idea and I’m sure I was difficult to handle at times
all the time because of this.
It was around the same time that I’d shown an interest in dancing; so Mom enrolled me in lessons so that I could have a special talent to foster, that was just my own. I was able to channel my need for constant attention into performance and give everyone else at home a break from my antics (ha! ya right).
I don’t dance anymore, but it was a huge part of my growing up, and greatly impacted who I am today. I’m thankful that she took the time to consider my feelings -as an individual- and set me on a positive path.
My Mom in a nutshell is:
Independent – She has always stated that she sees herself as not just a Mother, but an individual, which I highly value in her. She strives to make time to pursue her passions and maintain long-standing friendships which isn’t always easy. She quit her job (when most people her age are dreaming about retirement) and built a home-based business from the ground up. Some, may call her the breadwinner nowadays.
Vibrant and Bubbly – Ask ANYBODY. She loves to talk and laugh but is also an astute listener.
Corny – Just like her Dad. We have a running joke in our family about “Boehm Humour” (Boehm being her maiden name) which is essentially her family’s classically corny style of jokes and puns.
Sentimental – She cried for three days straight when the cat died.
We just love her more because of it!
An Eloquent Writer & one Tough B – Another long-standing joke in our family is Mom’s drive for justice… by way of letter writing. If she is dissatisfied she will write a letter to your organization/company/ex-employer/municipality/restaurant/etc. and thoughtfully, yet forcefully tell you how it is and how it needs to be.
Has a Thick Skin – She puts up with lots of shit, three teenage girls, are you kidding me!? Nowadays she often finds herself to be the butt of our jokes (out of love, of course) and plays along swimmingly, HOWEVER… beware that if you cross a line, you will receive a letter.
Non-judgemental – Despite every teenagers misgivings about having “the worst parents in the world” My mom (and dad!) was pretty cool, without being irresponsible. You can swear in front of her without offending her, she’s ALWAYS down for a dance party and she will openly share her stories of when she screwed up, to counter balance your own sometimes shameful endeavours.
My Biggest Fan – She has always been supportive throughout all of my many “costume changes” in life – pun intended. I never felt pressured to become anything that I wasn’t. She remained patient as my sisters and I grappled (and still do) to find our own way. If that meant quitting a pursuit that no longer served us, she supported that too.
So, THANK YOU, MOM. For letting us be us… by being you. I love you!