Monday, May 3, 2010

Moms: Reflections on Mother's Day

I love my mom. She has been a best friend for most of my life. Being an only child who moved frequently, I spent a lot of time with my mom.

One thing we did was we shopped together. When I was a teenager, we even shared clothes. She was fairly young when she had me and she has always looked (and acted) a bit younger than her age so most people presume she is my sister.

We look alike, although she is taller and thinner than I am. She is also more outgoing. I was shy and she never understood that. She also had been very thin and tall growing up and pushed me to be both thinner and more outgoing. She never understood what I was going through.

Some people say that the reason parents push all of your buttons is because they installed them. Perhaps that is true. Certainly, my mother drives me crazy. She can irritate the heck out of me. I find it frustrating that she does not understand or value the things which I value. She thinks my hobbies are weird or boring (or both). I find myself constantly wanting her approval but frustrated by her.

As Mother's Day approaches, I think about three important women in my life:
1. My Mom, a wonderful woman who pushes all of my buttons
2. My Grandmother--every year I fear I will lose her (and every year she gets more cranky and difficult, as her health gets worse) and since she lives out of state, I hardly ever see her (and miss her terribly)
3. My Mother-in-Law--I love her and I am close to her but she is also very difficult sometimes

These three wonderful but difficult women are a major part of my life. It is funny how much someone can get under your skin--both in the sense of closeness and also irritation. Maybe it is impossible to do one with out the other. They drive me crazy but my life would be emptier without them.

I'm sure I drive them crazy too, sometimes. I know with my mom it is true. I cringe to think of it, but I was terrible about saying how old she was all the time I was growing up. When she was in her 20s and 30s I would be going on about "how was it when you came over on the Mayflower?" or "Can you tell me more about the dinosaurs since you were there?" When she turned 40, we threw a huge gag birthday party with "Over the Hill" decorations and we greeted her at the door with a wheelchair and gave her a cane. Once I got to 30 and realized how young she had been (thinking about what age I had been when teasing her and therefore what age she would have been then), I'm embarrassed. When my Mom was my age (41), I was 19. I could easily have a 19 year old daughter.....yikes!

I am not a mother and may never be one, at this rate. However, I do have three women who are important to me. I am sure that you have some women in your life who have made a difference. Like me, you may find that they are also sometimes difficult women who have done things to annoy you. However, as Mother's Day approaches, I think it is a good time to stop and think about these women and how we can show them that they make a difference in our lives.

I'm doing a breakfast for my Mom and MIL to celebrate their role in my life. I'm going to send a card to Grandma and also give her a call. It's a good time to reach out and make sure that these connections stay strong because despite any irritations, they are connections worth having.

1 comment:

  1. Mother's Day is bittersweet for me. I have been estranged from my mom for 15 years but I have two awesome kiddos (5 and 2). I just turned 40 in November. Found your blog via Happiness Project. Feel free to check out mine!


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