A bit ago I was missing my father, a lot. And just wanted to say hello to him, ask him some fatherly advice. Since he died I felt like sending it out into the universe how I miss him. So I thought with Thanks Giving coming up and with the whole idea that we are to give thanks on this day, I thought it only fitting to thank my mom.
It’s no secret that we are like fire and ice, we do not see eye to eye at all. As a parent now I try to understand her. Why she did and said what she did. I think that mom was sad for a long time, since I was adopted I feel like she resented me. She was all done raising children in her mind and now there is another baby in the house. I see that my mom, I think, may have had some mental troubles as well. She did not do well in crowds, she gets flustered and panicked. She is also up and down in moods so perhaps Bipolar. Either way, I know my mother loved me and I love her in our own strange way.
How wonderful it is to have a mother teach you to make cookies and let you lick the spoon, or even better, the bowl. My favourite memory as a kid was when my mom would make jello, she would make a little extra so I could have a 1/2 cup of warm jello before it cooled into the firm wiggly squares. I loved to drink the jello liquid while it was still hot, I still do and so does my daughter.
I was a very active child, a tom boy by all true meaning. I love that mom would get mad at me every time I came home with another cut, another nail through my foot, another gash and needed stitches. The best was when I came home with most of my flesh torn off most of my entire body from a major wipe out. She would get almost sick with worry that it would leave a scar.
“I don’t know if your nails will grow back in, why can’t you act like a girl? Why can’t you play with dolls? Why do you insist on this wild behaviour? You are not a boy and boys don’t date girls that act like boys.” She would say.
Mother would try many things over the years, I know she would stress out about what to bring to the pot luck dinners, and worry about what the other women are wearing. I know my mom never seemed to fit in with the other ladies. I know she felt a little on the outside no matter how hard she tried to fit in, to be a part of the women in the church. I felt her pain, her tears of not understanding why they all won’t include her or even be nicer to her. Mom tried very hard. When dad couldn’t work anymore, mom went back to school and became a nurse. She was in her 50’s. She was always doing her best to do what she could for her community, her family, and her neighbours. I respect her very much for all her hard work.
My mom was still in the 1800’s with the idea of a perfect lady. Some of that I agree with, respecting a woman is a big one. But a woman is not needing to be absolutely dependant on anyone else to be considered a lady. And there starts some of our arguments. I want to trust a man, I want to have a husband. I just can’t settle for any man, even if that means I am single my entire life and die alone. I will not settle for just any man just because he’s a “good church member”. Or just because he is “her choice”. But I love her for worrying about me and telling me to “get a man”.
When I was raising my daughter I looked at my parents for “what not to do” and “what to copy”. I believe that once you are of an adult age, you choose what person you want to be and make those changes. I can’t blame parents for everything that is wrong with me, I am to blame as I have freedom to make changes. As a parent, I tried to give my daughter the good things I loved about my upbringing. Like Sunday dinners my dad would cook dinner for breakfast and breakfast for dinner, and mom would set the table and burn the toast. Like learning the value of hard work and the willingness to sacrifice yourself to help another person. Lick the cookie batter bowl. Playing games with my daughter. There are so many I can’t list them all, but as the years go by I learn to value what mom did all those years ago and even still. She is trying her best, to be her best parent she can be, best friend, best person she can be.
I love you for that mom, thank you for all you taught me, and thank you for all your love. It’s not easy to be a great parent, never knowing if the choice you made was right or if you picked the wrong battle.
Happy Thanks Giving to my mom and all you parents out there. Thank you for trying everyday to be a better parent and learning from your mistakes.