Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all of the moms out there. I hope your day is just what you deserve.

Being a mom is hard. Anyone who has had one or been one should know this. And being a mom is a lot more than just donating DNA. Lot's of step moms and adopted moms and aunties who step in as mom and just women who fill the role can testify to that. It's a complicated job. And even when you think you are doing okay you might find that you aren't. Or when you aren't sure you are doing well you might find you did a really good job.

As you might guess I don't make a big deal out of the day for myself. C usually buys me a gift, which is lovely, but it's not necessary. We go out to breakfast, but we do that every Sunday, we just make sure to keep in mind that EVERYONE is going out to breakfast and choose accordingly. But it's a made up holiday, just like Valentine's Day, so I don't really care. In fact the woman who made it up (a hundred years ago, happy anniversary Mother's Day) ended up hating what happened to the holiday. It was supposed to be a day of honor for mothers, she set it up to honor the memory of her own mother. But by the end of her life she had seen it morph in to a greeting card and box of chocolate day and she hated that.

Now I'm not one to turn down a box of chocolates, but I get her sentiment.

Brent, C and I actually talked about this yesterday. I don't like "off the hook" holidays or gestures. You know, you can be an ass the rest of the year as long as you get sappy and sentimental on the "day" (Mother's Day, Father's Day, Valentine's Day, your anniversary, what ever) then you are off the hook for being a douche. Nope, sorry, you aren't. I want good behavior most days which will then get you off the hook for the rare days where you are a douche. It's harder for sure, but makes for a better, more even keel life, in my opinion.

So swinging back to Mother's Day and being a mom. Every year when it rolls around and I get something for my mother (usually flowers and I make sure to call her, I might not care about the day, but she does) I remember back to a turning point that could have changed everything.

When we first left New Mexico I was not on the best of terms with my family back home. Now, I say that but I will guarantee you that they had no idea how angry I really was. They knew I wasn't happy with some recent decisions but I don't think they realized how bad it was. I can remember standing in front of a rack of Mother's Day cards debating whether or not to send one to my mom. I was on the the tipping point right then of crossing the relationship with anyone left in New Mexico off. Just being done. I had had my fill. I was angry. I was hurt. And to be perfectly honest I was just tired of all of it. And because I couldn't see it ever getting better I thought very hard about just being done. And not buying a card would be the first step in undoing that relationship.

I bought the card and sent it. Not happily. But I did it.

And things eventually got better.

Because just like I made the choice that day to buy the damn card I made the choice over and over again over the next few years to let things go. To forgive where it was needed. To understand that people do the best they can for the most part. And that though the choices that were made weren't the ones I would have made they were their choices and they made them for their own reasons. And to understand that as frustrated and angry as I get with them they get that way with me. We are all very different. But that doesn't mean that we aren't all doing our best.

And it doesn't mean that my mother isn't awesome. Because she is. And if I hadn't sent that card I would have forgotten that. And I would have missed years of being reminded of that. And once I had my own child and I have had to make decisions regarding his life I understand how sometimes there are no good ones. Just ones that are less bad. And you do what you can. Will I ever completely agree with her choices as a mother? No. But she will never completely agree with mine either. But that doesn't mean we both aren't good moms doing the best we can with what we have. Or that we've both made mistakes that our kids have had to move past.

So if you are on the fence about calling your mom today, call. Even if it's a five minute stilted conversation. Keep that door open. Keep that relationship going. It just might get better.

Trust me.

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