I have two wonderful children. They are the reason I get myself out of bed each morning. They make me laugh. They make me proud – every second of every day. I am thankful for being a mom because it wasn’t something that came naturally to me – but I’m not sure it was for my mom either.
When I was going up I thought I could never love another more than I loved my mom. She was my world. There wasn’t a day that went by that I didn’t stop to think about how strong and fiercely independent she was – how I wanted to grow up to be just like her. I remember having an undeniable need to tell her I loved her all the time – I couldn’t leave the house before walking to school without shouting it out every few steps – to her embarrassment I’m sure! But I was compelled to tell her – what if I never saw her again – she needed to know how much she meant to me, and therefore I guess the neighbours did too!
As I grew-up I put my mom on a pedestal – she was raising two fiery daughters on her own and it must have been hard. It must have been lonely. It must have been exhausting and frustrating and so many more crappy things rolled into one big ball of single-momhood. And while I’m sure it was hard, she figured it out in her own way. She did it her way.
While wildly inappropriate (I realize now at 43), my grandmother used to tell me stories that a young girl probably shouldn’t know about her mom and the issues that plagued my parents marriage, yet it made me feel closer to my mom and tehrefore thankful for the knowledge. The trust and respect I had for my mom grew stronger because I understood how she became so fiercely independent and strong. It reinforced why I wanted to be just like her when I grew-up.
Now at 43, almost 44, I realize how much I am just like my mom – I too do it my way. I am sassy, strong, tenacious and independent. I say what I think and rarely does my inner monologue work – what you see is what you get. 100% transparent. But where we differ is in our need to show our emotions. I remember growing up craving my mom’s hugs and kisses. I knew she loved me but I wanted a sign – an easy to read symbol that showed me she loved me. And while I still recall how badly I wanted her affection, I understand now that she didn’t need to show me, because I felt it – and still do.
Unlike my mom I am a highly sensitive person – I may have shed a tear or two writing this. I can probably (and just did to my husband) blame it on the fact that I am no longer on my anti-depression meds, but I am who I am. A bundle of emotion that I do not control well – if at all. I need physical and emotional connections – I hug and kiss my kids several hundred times a day and tell them I love them a million more times. I am an over-sharer of emotions and love. (I’m sure this statement just made Nunzio smirk)
Over the years I have learned that my mom is not perfect, nor does she belong on a pedestal and that is really ok. No-one is perfect and no-one should ever be placed on a pedestal – it’s not fair to them or you. But what I can say is that my mom did the best she could with the deck she was handed – and I could not love her anymore than I do. I love my mom – fiercey.
I am writing this post to thank my mom. I’m thanking her for teaching me that it is ok to be strong, independent, outspoken and fiery. I’m thankful that she let me be me growing up, telling her how much I loved her every step of the way – literally. I have no regrets in my life because she taught me to be confident and trust in myself. She taught me to respect myself and that it is ok to find my own way. She taught me that love is felt – deep down in your heart and soul.
My mom did a lot in her life to set me and my sister up for success as human beings – I can only hope that I am doing the same for my kids. I am not a perfect mom, but I am a mom who loves her kids with all of her heart. My mom taught me how to do that.
I love you mom.