"One time I saw a tiny Joshua tree sapling growing not too far from the old tree. I wanted to dig it up and replant it near our house. I told Mom that I would protect it from the wind and water it every day so that it could grow nice and tall and straight. Mom frowned at me. "You'd be destroying what makes it special," she said. "It's the Joshua tree's struggle that gives it its beauty." ~ Jeanette Walls, The Glass Castle
I couldn't resist a quote from one of my favorite books that highlights the unconditional love for a mother in the face of dysfunction and countless hardships. Mother's Day, like many other occasions that celebrate someone special in your life, can either be joyful or full of sorrow. It depends on where we are developmentally in our lives and the stage of interpersonal growth. We have all come from a mother at some point. Beyond that, the variations in the mother-child relationship are immense. Embracing where you are in life and appreciating it, will bring you closer to the mom in your life - past or present.
We start out our lives being dependent on our mother. If we are fortunate, we have a mother beyond our entry into the world, either birth or adoptive. Although the foundation remains the same, our relationship with our mother changes as we progress through life and needs to be continually nurtured. When you take on the role of motherhood yourself, it proves to be both eye opening and abundantly rewarding if you allow it. Every stage of your child's life can bring you closer to the person they are becoming.
So this is a bit of what I have learned so far:
1) Learn that most preconceived notions go out the window. Before having children, you are an idealist. You soon become a realist.
2) Overcome fears of imperfection. Striving to be a perfect mom will leave you feeling guilty, but striving to be the best mom you can be can prove to be fulfilling.
3) Values are important to pass along to your child. Look within yourself to see what matters most to becoming the person you want to be and in turn want your child to be.
4) Equality goes a long way. In our home, we are living life with our children, not just raising them. Respect begets respect.
I couldn't resist the acronym LOVE since this is the foundation of the relationship with our mothers. It may be a memory of love, loving from a distance or loving in the here and now. Share some love today, with your mom or someone else, as a dedication to your mom.
I will leave you with this powerful message from John Lennon:
"When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down 'happy'. They told me I didn't understand the assignment, and I told them they didn't understand life."
Happy Mother's Day.