Struggling to make sense of your relationship with your mother is a tale almost as old as time itself, isn’t it?
I have good news for those of you who are still in the midst of the struggle: there may come a time when you don’t.
I know it’s possible.
My mother and I have a mutual respect and a deeper love for each other, now, than I ever thought possible.
She means more to me than I could ever have imagined she would. Much more.
That, in and of itself, is a gift of epic proportions.
So, to my mama…
Mama, I know that Ahab often gets the credit for instilling a love of The Ocean in us kids. But, I give a lot of that credit to you, too. It was you who packed us up, religiously, each and every Saturday, to head to the beach for the day. You, along with the three other mothers in our Beach Family, and enough cold tuna noodle casserole, Cheezits, and Crystal Light Iced Tea to feed an entire classroom full of children, would herd us 8 children into vans and onto the hot sand with promises of hours of unfettered free time.
I felt the most free when we were at the beach each Saturday. You allowed me to run and swim and play and eat Cheezits until you thought I’d turn into one. And, although I now understand (OH, how I understand!) that in doing so, you also were getting some much needed breathing room yourself, I never felt more loved on than when you would allow me to just be me at the beach. There were no comments of being ladylike, eating less, or being more like so-and-so. No. None of that. You packed us up and took us to the place where we could all get out and blow the stink off. And you showed your love in that one act.
I am so grateful for your willingness to take us out there for fresh air and sunshine.
Grilled cheese sandwiches, with the cheese blackened on the top, are still a favorite of mine to this day. Those and the chicken noodle soup that always accompanied it, were the only things I really remember about the times I was sick. And, I remember you lovingly (and maybe with more than a hint of frustration on the tenth and twentieth times) putting the socks back on my hands, to keep me from scratching at the chicken pox that covered my body when I was six.
I am so grateful for your tender loving care.
And I also look back on all of your attempts to take us on mother-daughter trips with a softer perspective. You desperately wanted me to want to go – shopping, out to lunch, to a movie. I can see, now, that you really just wanted us to have opportunities to do things together.
And, I’m so grateful that you tried.
I love you mama. It took me an awful long time to realize that I am, indeed, blessed to call you “Mom”. And I want you to know how much I look forward to every new memory we carve out together in the future.
Happy Mother’s Day!