First a daughter. Needing her to rub my head. The smell of her finger tips, cigarette smoke residue lingers to this day in my mind. The yellowing of her finger nails. Yet, the comfort they provided, the simple act of rubbing my head is not like any other. Resting on the floor or rather restless on the floor beside her bed full of panic and anxiety, her voice would soothe me. She would make it all okay. Running off the bus on school days, impatiently telling her about my day’s events. She was my go-to for it all. Sharing the excitement when I kissed a boy for the first time. Crying uncontrollably when I drank too much and forgot much of the night. She sat in the chair next to my bed and made me feel okay. My dependence on her became more of an enmeshment that I did not realize until my late thirties. And the hindsight I suddenly watched in high definition became uncomfortable. Facing the negativity, the toxic-ness of our relationship. Anger and sadness filled spaces that once held attachment. But…this is not the whole picture. She carried me when I would call incessantly from college crying, depressed, full of angst. With all her downfalls, like us all, she is my mom.
As a mom with a son about to embark on his college journey, I am faced with the challenges she must have faced with me. D and I share many qualities, some which include anxiety, stubbornness, and an underlying fear. Today, anxiety has all but left my being. But that was not always the case. In fact, when I was D’s age, my panic and anxiety was at its peak. I am steadily preparing myself on many levels for what the near future is about to bring for D, for me. I’ve found openly talking about some of these college “struggles” has enlightened me in ways never expected.
A message from D the other night thanking me “for being one of the best parents” carried a weight, a much needed weight of hope. Being a Mom was, is, and always will be my dream job. My purpose. But oh so so very hard. At all stages. So I am grateful this Mother’s Day Weekend for my mom for doing the best she knew how to do for me and my brother. And I am grateful for the moments I have to be a mom myself. Everyday I work on being the best I know how to be.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms!