My mother used to be LITERALLY one of the worst people I knew. (or so I thought as a teenager)
When she benefited me, she was great! Like when she said yes if I wanted to hang out with friends. Or if I asked my dad something and he said no..then eventually deciding he would give my mother that power. Being her only daughter, (I have 4 older brothers) she seemed to have a tender spot that would say yes, and let me go.
Growing up, my parents thought that I was responsible, and mature for my age, and I’d like to believe to a certain degree, I was. I was the youngest, and I was a bit spoiled, and those easier times would eventually catch up to me in the worst ways. I would learn to be humble, and to receive what I was offered with grace and gratefulness, and conquer giants I didn’t dare think was possible..
This is not about me.
Back to my “horrible” mother.
Aside from her saying yes, and letting me explore, there would be times as I got older, when she leveled with me as a fellow intellectual, and would let me have it.
She would tell me when I was making horrible choices with guys, and when I was showing too much skin, and how “she wouldn’t be caught dead in that.” She was unaware how “I wouldn’t tell nobody” sounded to me as a young adult. That simple phrase, as if I didn’t have good enough thoughts or ideas….or fashion sense, made me feel inadequate.
She just didn’t get it.
Of course she wouldn’t.
She was older than me. And she came across unhappy so often. Like everything I did bothered her as I got older..
That was the exact opposite of me.
What did she know anyways right?
Fast forward to me having children. Not just one, but then two.
Fast forward to my little girls looking up at me with their gorgeous set of eyes, and my tender spot so ready to say yes to all their ambitions.
Fast forward to me thinking about when they become teens, and how I couldn’t possibly forgive myself if I allowed them to leave our home with their butts hanging out, knowing that they are still somewhat naïve. It wouldn’t matter how “evolved” the times are, someone could take advantage of their innocence.
Fast forward to me tearing up as I think about the day my daughters may not understand where I’m coming from and think I’m the worst person on earth. Times when they can’t look at me, and don’t want to be near me. Times when they are ready to get off the phone because they are “too busy.” Times when they get involved with love and the ups and downs of it.
Those times….are times I can only really try to imagine right now…ones I hope to change the course of, and soften the dialect for.
But my mother, my beautiful, strong, caring, sentimental mother, is not just mom to me anymore,
She is a woman.
I have now been through neglect. Complexities. Hurt. Betrayal. I have experienced emotional, physical, and spiritual pain because of wrong choices. I can now look back and feel thankful for my life. My breath. Because, I know that I shouldn’t have it. It should not be.
And I’m almost certain, now that I’ve had talks with her as a mother, all she was trying to do back then was give me enough room to explore, but enough chastisement to let me know I wasn’t always going to be right. That there were consequences.
Ones she had come to know.
Try to shield me from them, without crippling me.
The truth is, there is no booklet. No perfectly put together list that teaches a mother how to be the best.
We develop that conclusion when we realize how much they were willing to sacrifice, go through, go without, slide under, crawl through, and consume in order for us to simply do and be better than they.
And any woman who would walk in a blizzard, in the middle of winter, to get her very able bodied daughter subway to make her happy, a ways down the road, because they were out of food, deserves the world.
This is a post dedicated to my mother. Sharon. I don’t know what I would do if someone else had been assigned me. I’m eternally grateful God decided you were a good fit.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there who have raised, are still raising, or are looking forward to raising children. It is not going to be easy, but if you hang in there, especially through the tough times, you will come to see, they will one day desire to give you everything you’ve ever wanted and more, just to see you happy.
It will all be worth it. ♥️