Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

It's the hugest job I think anyone can ever undertake: being a parent. And while dads are certainly an important part of the equation, there's something about a mother.

From the minute a woman finds out she's pregnant, she truly is a different person. Before she can ever meet her child she goes through a physical and psychological transformation that to this day, continues to amaze me. I, of course, have only seen it second-hand, but have been awestruck by it just the same.

Everyone's mother is different. And every mother-daughter dynamic is different. (No offense guys, but we have a completely different relationship with mom than you do.) But, if they're a good mother, they really are all the same. While they may go about it diffently, mothers just want their children to be happy and healthy.

As we age, it becomes so much easier to see our parents as people, not the iconic figures they are to us when we're 3 feet tall. We see their fears and shortcomings and sometimes even their unfulfilled dreams.

But, we also get to a place where we can fully appreciate their achievements, their better qualities, and the things they overcame to be where they are today.

My mother drives me crazy. Sometimes, she can be the most stubborn and immovable person I think I've ever met. (Should I wonder where I get it?) She is honest, sometimes brutally so. She does not issue a compliment readily. She is impatient. She has expectations that, by design, are made to disappoint. She makes me repeat myself -- constantly -- something I hate to do.

But most of these are pluses. That iron will -- it has gotten both she and I through more than one difficult time, times when other people would simply have crumbled. When she truly wants something, no is not a word she utters or hears. The brutal honesty? When she does pay a compliment, you know she truly means it, she's not just being nice. And while the unreal expectations can at times be disappointing, she's taught me to not only expect more, but to achieve it.

The mother is entirely too hard on herself, never giving credit for the many skills and gifts she possesses. I've never met anyone who has the design vision that she does. She can decorate an entire place inside 15 minutes -- in her mind's eye.

She has a gift for handling creatures that rivals Dr. Doolittle. She's nursed back to health, and comforted in their final hours, more creatures than you'd find at any zoo.

The mother is generous to a fault. (She scares me sometimes because I'm afraid that one of the people she thinks she is helping, may help themselves to more.) She can be compassionate and kind. And a friend? This is loyalty that most of us only dream of generating in others.

And she's a crafty sort, always good at making or modifying things. She wraps gifts that or so pretty people don't want to open them!

While it might not always seem so, I'm proud to have her as my mother. But try to do something to her, I think you'd find out pretty quick just how fiercely and how much I love her.

And I know that's a two-way street. (Everyone should feel that loved.)

Seeing her excited about something is a kind of happiness I can't describe.
We have our moments, the mother and I. We work together, play together, laugh together, cry together.

And I can't imagine my life without her. Happy Mother's Day to my mother and all you moms. (And moms-to-be!)


Kay said...

D*mn. That runs a little too deep for MY comfort zone! *sheepish grin*

The one reason I DO recommend motherhood is this: I never knew I could love that much. Take it to the limit and then keep going, and you'll barely scratch the surface of how much each of us is loved by our own mothers. But you don't really know it until you turn it around.

I need a Kleenex.

Mama Martha said...

NV beautiful post! I too need a Kleenex. She's lucky to have you and you to have her.

Liz said...

Fantastic post! I love that you mentioned that our parents eventually transform into people for all of us. It's an amazing thing to see your mom for the person she is, flaws and all, and love her even more for it.

Vicki said...

Happy (belated) Mother's Day to the mother!

NV said...

Kay -- You've just expressed exactly what I've always heard. My one true regret is not having had the chance to experience it!

MM -- Aw, thanks. I like to think so.

Liz -- Yeah, that iconic view CAN'T last forever. (Remember that as you await your own.) I think it's better though to love them as people. :-)

Vicki -- Thanks, V! Same to you.

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