A Happy Mother’s Day Note!
I recently read a very wise Tumblr post that detailed all of the things your mother will never tell you. I wish I had held onto my screenshot of it, but since being found, it has gotten deleted. I’ll try to work from memory. It said things like, “You made her cry” and “You hurt her feelings often.” It said positive experiences too, like, “She worried about you constantly” and “Always thought of you.”
While I’m not a mother, two of the most important people in my life are, so I can say from a rather close perspective that mothering is a thankless job in that you do what you have to do in the moment and you do so without expecting anything in return. The only thing we can return now, years later, is gratitude.
Now that I’m 23, I recognize it must have been hard for my mom to even let me out of her eyesight as a child. When I was in fifth grade, I remember thinking it ridiculous that she wouldn’t let me attend a Halloween festival under the supervision of my friend’s older (13-year-old) sister. It felt like the end of the world at the time, like my parents didn’t trust me or believe I’d be okay in the world without their constant watch. Now, when I’m walking through the city, I often see a child on a scooter, waiting at the edge of the street before the crosswalk. Oftentimes, there’s no parent in sight and I find myself thinking how hard it would be for me to let my child scoot two whole blocks ahead. Oh, Mom. I finally get it. At this age, the perspective finally comes.
The aforementioned Tumblr list has gotten me thinking. Right now, here are the things I probably wouldn’t ever admit to my future kids: I was afraid to have you because I wasn’t sure I’d do a proper job. I was afraid that you wouldn’t be good people because I could be a better person, honestly. What if I smother you? What if I am exactly like my mother? What if I project my insecurities on you? I look at children constantly and there’s something primal inside of me that’s like, “I can do that. I can provide,” and then I become super determined. But Future Kids, I’m just not sure yet. More than anything, I don’t want to let you down. Having a child means a lot of control, while simultaneously having none.
I appreciate my mom for everything she did for me, but mostly just because she tried. No mother is perfect and our relationship certainly has its crossroads, but she had me and with every new thing I learned and did, she had to make decisions and sacrifices.
Happy Mother’s Day, from my family to yours!