As our moms' kids it's easy to assume we know a lot about them; their strengths, weaknesses, and even their shortcomings. We can pinpoint certain character traits that we'd like to lean toward or away from. And as I got older, I decided I wanted to be successful like her and buy a home like my parents have and reach for some of the same goals that she has achieved.
I also had memories of her disciplining me, and within those same memories included thoughts on how I would do it differently. How she just didn't know what she was doing at the time or how it scarred me! (Oh, how naive I was - and maybe dramatic?! ;) )
Oh, but once I became a mommy... well, my perspective has changed about her. I realized she was more than just my mom.
I realized I am on the same playing field. I am now that imperfect mom now trying to make the best choices for my kids just as my mom did so long ago with me and my sister.
I began to imagine my mom doing the things with me that I am doing with my babies. I imagined her worry when we were sick when we were little and I imagined her pride as we brought home good grades. I envisioned her excitement when we learned something new or made a picture just for her. I also pictured that she was sometimes frustrated with our bad choices and I could see her reaching for us, to steer us in the right direction in life, hoping that we would follow the path to become good people, a path she was helping to create and guide us on.
Who knew my mom lived through these same experiences and emotions that I am now currently experiencing as a mom of my young ones?
Instead of judging my mom, I began feeling some grace and compassion toward her! Oh, I know I was a pain sometimes... those fights with my sister, and eye rolling, and talking back (and other awful things I put her through that I'm probably subconsciously blocking out of my mind - or just don't want to admit! Ha!).
I'm also finding myself in those sweet 'mommy moments' as my mom created with me...
I don't know if she knows, but I remember singing You Take the High Road and Twinkle, Twinkle in bed at night.
I remember her sitting us in front of the fireplace downstairs after we had just got out of the bathtub to keep us nice and warm.
I remember her pushing the back of my bike as I learned to ride with just two wheels.
I remember her working two jobs so my dad could go back to school to get his Engineering degree so that our family could have more.
I remember her laying out all sorts of different, fun ingredients on our kitchen table and telling my sister and I to just create!
I remember her teaching me to play Monopoly.
I remember the way she told me that she wished she could switch places with me when I was dealing with my hair loss in elementary school.
I remember her sitting with me in the middle of the night when I was in junior high because I had an awful ear ache and couldn't sleep.
I remember how she and I worked together to teach Sunday School together when I was in high school.
And now I sometimes get to relive those moments when I see her with my own children. And it leaves no room for doubt in my mind about how much she loves them... how much she loved me.
I also don't know if she knows this, but I hope I am a lot like her. I hope I can glean from her wisdom about motherhood.
I don't tell her nearly enough, but I am so thankful for my mom.
So today, Mother's Day, I celebrate her and all that she is to me - and now to my own kids, too.
I love you, Mom!