My mom is an amazingly beautiful, seventy year young woman whom I love with all of my heart. I adore the place we are in our relationship in these later years, with her in her early seventies and me in my late thirties. She has always imparted so much wisdom to me, but that's not what I want to share with you. Before I go forward, I need to go backward.
My growing up years were not the easiest. They were not easy for her, for my dad, or my step parents, or for me. I was difficult. I was spoiled. I had a certain sense of entitlement that would make me want to scream my head off about, had my kids inherited that trait. I hated to shop, I hated getting all dolled up and I gawked over every little piece of clothing my poor mom brought home for me to try on.
Did you catch that?
I hated shopping so much that she BROUGHT ME CLOTHES TO TRY ON. Most of which I hated, by the way, and back she would go again, to return them.
God bless her little kind heart.
I was such a brat, and it's only by the grace of God that all that began to change as I entered into my late teen years and adulthood.
I think all of the above horror that I mentioned is because of the high level of insecurity I had. It doesn't take a psychologist to figure that out, and now that I'm grown, I can easily blame my brattiness (Is that even a word?) on that. I don't even know what to blame the insecurity on, but it doesn't matter. I was insecure, and I would often lash out to those who loved me most.
But, guess what?
My precious mom loved me through all of those unpleasant years. On my last post, I wrote about how I tried to remind myself that through my sons' crazy hormone-filled years, that they were still kids and they still needed my love and affection. That is what my mom taught me. To love well.
She loved me through my not so pleasant moments. She would wrap her arms around me and she would hold me until I melted into her, much like I wrote about doing to my oldest son in one of his times of a mood swing. She would hold me and rub my back, and she would hold my face and look me in my eyes and she would tell me how much she loved me.
I know that she would never say any of this about herself. She would be quick to point out all of her flaws, and I know she had some, because she is a human being. We're all flawed. Mom was older when she had me. My mixed family was made up of his, hers and ours. My dad had two kids (Paul and Terri) from a previous marriage when he married Mom, and Mom had two kids (Lisa and Debi) from a previous marriage as well. Then when they married, they had my sister (Tricia), and eight years later, I was born. Because I was so much younger, when my sister Tricia married at a young age and moved out, I was almost like an only child. I do know that both of my parents were a lot more laid back with their style of parenting with me than they were with my older siblings. According to them, I had it easy. And I did, I won't lie.
But I was still difficult, and I don't want that to go unnoticed. Through all of those difficulties, I never once questioned the love of my mom (or my dad, for that matter).
And now that I am a parent of four teenage (and ish) boys, I want to remember these lessons taught to me by my beloved mom. She loved me well. I want to love my boys well. I don't ever want them to question my love for them.
And, Mom? If you're reading this, know that I love you so much that it hurts. Thank you for teaching me how to be a mom. I pray that I am half as good a mom to my boys as you were (ARE!) to me. And thank you for all the other cool stuff you taught me, like how to properly swaddle a baby, how to clean and rearrange a home before my husband came home from work, how to cook, how to sew (Oops! Well, thanks for trying to teach me that, anyway.), and how to apply makeup. I know I'm forgetting some big things, but you get the gist. I am grateful for you.
(Mom is in the glasses. Clockwise from Mom, it's Tricia, me, Lisa, Debi and one of my nieces Erika.)
(Mom with my middlest son Drew, and my stepdad, Bill.)