So I went onto dictionary.com and typed in mother to see what the actual definition was. Female parent, a woman exercising control, a term of familiar address for an old or elderly woman…HOLD UP! OLD?? ELDERLY?? Are you kidding me? What do they have to do with anything? Anyway, the most hysterical one to me was a stringy, mucilaginous substance consisting of various bacteria that forms on the surface of a fermenting liquid. GROSS! I mean, I’ve called my mother some pretty mean things before but never have I stooped so low as to call her a stringy mucilaginous. That’s just downright hateful!!
I continued looking for a “decent” definition and came to realize that there wasn’t anything in there about what a mother really is. There was no mention of her being a nurse-mending years and years worth of boo-boo’s in a way that Johnson & Johnson could never compare; nothing in there about the countless hours of therapy that she provided to me-never once was she able to bill for them; providing comfort for the many times my little heart was broken by a best friend or boyfriend-those of whom I just thought I could never go through life without; I couldn’t find the definition describing her ability to be a spiritual leader-spending countless hours in prayer over me to make the right choices in life or crying over and over for God to take control of my heart; I didn’t read anything about her being a juggler-tangible items not included but juggling her time between me, my other two sister, my blind father, teaching school, grading papers all night long, finishing her education, fixing dinner, getting baths, talking to parents and students and somewhere in the midst of all that, she was supposed to find time for herself; I did not find anything defining what a true mother really is.
I am 37 years old and I’m rearing a 15 year old, soon to be 16 year old, son. As I watch him grow up and become the man that he is rapidly becoming, I realize that there is not just one simple definition that can define mother. I have also realized that I never truly have shown my own mother any appreciation for all that she’s done for me. I have spent countless hours focusing on what she didn’t do right and wasted all these years focusing on the hurt that she caused me. My opinion of my mother was fueled by hatred and hurt and self-pity. And where did that get me? Nowhere-it pushed me further away from her. It caused me to loathe the card isle at Mother’s Day. How was I supposed to find a card that said “yea, so we didn’t get along, we really don’t like each other right now but hey-you’re a great mom!” Hallmark didn’t make anything that came close to that. I would stand there absolutely stressed out trying to find a card that really didn’t have some kind of a “mushy” undertone. That whole holiday made me so cynical that eventually I would find a humorous card to get her, hoping it would disguise the hurt and the anger I held in so deep.
All that came to a halt the day my son told me he “hated his parents”. WHAT? I’ve done everything in my power to do things opposite of what my mother did to me. I’ve been there for him through everything , I never raised an angry hand to him, I tried to buy him all these cool things that he asked for and he’s going to say he hates me!!! It was in that moment that the light came on. Now don’t get me wrong, my mother wasn’t winner of mother of the year but I wasn’t bringing home any trophies myself for best daughter. Despite everything that went on between us over the years, I turned out to be a decent person. I am who I am today, because of my mom. I am a strong woman, because of my mom; I am a Christian, because of my mom; I have strong ethics, because of my mom; I know that time together is more important than anything money can buy, and it’s because of my mom. I didn’t have the coolest toys or the designer clothes or the big house BUT I never went without. I’ve had it wrong this whole time. My mom did love me! She taught me things when I had no idea I was learning! My mom is the furthest thing from a string mucous thingy! You can’t find that kind of description in an online dictionary or in Webster. I look forward to the years that we have left together. I look forward to making up for lost time. You are truly a good mother and I love you dearly!