Perhaps it was a Freudian slip that I sent my mother home from her two-week visit the day before Mother’s Day. I apologized, but as I got up this morning to hugs and kisses from my children and a leisurely day stretching ahead of me, I realize that it might not have been as unconscious a mistake as I thought.
Most mothers and daughters have complicated histories. I’m sure my story isn’t all that unusual: unrealistic expectations on her part as to the person I am versus the person she wanted me to turn out to be, feelings of inadequacy as I strove for far too many years to appear to be the person my mother wanted me to be, and animosity on both our parts.
Now, as I embark on raising my own family, I find myself struggling not mold my children into things they are not. My daughter, like most teenagers, spends entirely too much time on her appearance, but I endeavor not to chide her about it. She is who she is. Of my sons, one is firmly attached, great in school, and quite the little sweetheart. It’s not hard to overlook the times when he’s not quite an angel — but I have to be diligent about punishing him when he does break the rules. My other son struggles daily with attachment and obeying even the simplest of commands. If I enforced every rule and expectation for him, he’d be grounded till he’s fifty. Tolerance is the name of the game with him.
Occasionally, I dream of having a ‘normal’ family — then, I laugh. I do! No one is perfect, everyone struggles with themselves and finding their way in the world. We’re no different from anyone else, yet perfectly unique.
So, today I celebrate my own brand of Mother’s Day. The only thing I wish is that I hadn’t waited XXX years (I’m not saying how many, only pointing out that there have been too many) to figure out that this is the way it’s “supposed” to be — for me, anyway!
Happy Mother’s Day to all the Moms out there. Have YOUR brand of special day!