Mother’s Day feels more complicated the older I get.
I was never very good at honoring my mom on Mother’s Day. Then I became a mom and felt really guilty about it, though she acts like it’s really no big deal. Now my friends are moms: new moms, veteran moms, single moms. Moms who have lost their moms or who have become estranged to their moms. Moms whose moms fly in for the week or live down the street and help raise their children.
I am so fortunate to have my mother, and my step-mother, and my mothers-in-law. I am even more fortunate that both of my grandmothers still grace this earth, as does one of my great-grandmothers. There are so many women in my life to express gratitude to. It’s overwhelming.
Now I can start to understand all that my mother gave up to attend college while my sister and I were young. Now I can imagine the difficulty of balancing a career and the extracurriculars of two children. Now I can empathize with the lost hours of sleep, the interrupted hours of work, the utter void of time in peace, the endless days and weeks and years of worry… but only now, 33 years (two sleepless) in, can I begin to appreciate all that my mother did for me and my sister.
We know our mothers as Mom, the woman she is, day to day, as we grow and complicate life and inspire. There’s an element of who she was before becoming Mom, otherwise all moms would be the same. But only in rare cases does being a mom have no impact on who we are as we age. Mom shapes who we are; we shape who our Mom becomes.
So today I want to thank my mom for laying the foundation that will become the Mom that I am destined to be.
Happy Mother’s Day! (And next time we’re together we’ll have to get a picture!)