This morning, I saw this on Pinterest. It's a letter to a daughter from a mother:
"My dear girl, the day you see I’m getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what I’m going through. If when we talk, I repeat the same thing a thousand times, don’t interrupt to say: “You said the same thing a minute ago”... Just listen, please. Try to remember the times when you were little and I would read the same story night after night until you would fall asleep. When I don’t want to take a bath, don’t be mad and don’t embarrass me. Remember when I had to run after you making excuses and trying to get you to take a shower when you were just a girl? When you see how ignorant I am when it comes to new technology, give me the time to learn and don’t look at me that way... remember, honey, I patiently taught you how to do many things like eating appropriately, getting dressed, combing your hair and dealing with life’s issues every day... the day you see I’m getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what I’m going through.
If I occasionaly lose track of what we’re talking about, give me the time to remember, and if I can’t, don’t be nervous, impatient or arrogant. Just know in your heart that the most important thing for me is to be with you. And when my old, tired legs don’t let me move as quickly as before, give me your hand the same way that I offered mine to you when you first walked. When those days come, don’t feel sad... just be with me, and understand me while I get to the end of my life with love. I’ll cherish and thank you for the gift of time and joy we shared. With a big smile and the huge love I’ve always had for you, I just want to say, I love you... my darling daughter. "
It made me cry. My mom is the greatest person I know. She’s funny, smart, caring, helpful, and an all around great person to be around. I look up to her in so many ways and hope to someday be the wife and mother that she has been to Steve and us.
It’s funny how your perception of your mom changes over time.
When I was a baby, I was reliant on her and physically needed her. As I grew into a toddler and started gaining my own independence, I still relied on my mama to scare away the Wicked Witch of the West who lived on the other side of my bed, hold me when I was sick, and to teach me how to act like a young lady.
When I started elementary school, my mom started teaching me life lessons early on. I didn’t have a normal childhood, per se. My parents were divorced and lived in two different houses. My mom worked 2 jobs and went to school, just to make sure we lived comfortably. I never really appreciated that until I was much older. When I was in the 2nd grade I moved across the country, away from everything I knew. I remember not even being scared about moving because I knew I would be with my mom and she would never let anything bad happen to me. Mom always made sure I had my homework done and was nice to all of my classmates. I was never allowed to stay home from school because my education was far more important than laying on the couch, “sick” watching TV all day. She taught me to how take care of myself early on. One of the best gifts she gave me was her trust in me. She'd let me stay home by myself because she knew I’d stay out of trouble and she taught me how to be responsible if an emergency happened.
Growing up, I was always treated like an adult. I did adult things like watch rated-R movies, go to nice restaurants, and carry on conversations with their friends and coworkers. The flip side of that was that I was supposed to act mature, even when I didn’t want to. I had my tantrums every now and then, but I never really got into trouble. Since I didn’t get real punishments, I learned emotional competence, which has helped me out graciously in my adult life.
My mom taught me how to voice my opinions (like mother, like daughter ;) ) and stand up for what I believe in. She taught me that I don’t have to follow the crowd and if I don’t want to do something, I don’t have to do it. More importantly, she also taught me that even if I stand up for something, things may not go my way and I have to deal with that. Many times growing up, she wouldn’t let things go my way. I was forced to suck it up and deal with things. Sometimes in life, you’re not always dealt the right hand of cards.
In high school, I’ll be the first to admit that I was a brat. I was overly emotional, overly sensitive, and back-talked like you wouldn’t believe. I had a very hard time dealing with things not going my way. My mom couldn’t have been more annoying to me. She never let me do anything fun; I always had an early curfew and she was always in my business. All she ever did was nag and I could never do anything right. I would rather hang out with my friends than do homework, I would rather stay up all night on the phone than get a good night’s rest, and I would much rather sit my butt on the couch instead of going to volleyball practice. But no matter how I tried to weasel my way out of all of those responsibilities, she forced me to do them.
Now that I’m in college, my perspective on my mom has changed drastically. I’ve really realized how much I need my mom these past few years. She’s the calm in my crazy storm of college. I had such a hard time my first year and she wouldn’t let me give up, no matter how much I wanted to. These past years, she's become more of my best friend; a shoulder to cry on, someone to laugh with, and someone to offer me the best kind of advice only a mother can have. She’s shaped me into the woman I always dreamed I would be when I grew up.
So to all my readers, go tell your mom you love her. And as she gets older and your life gets busier, don't forget that your mom is your #1 fan. Be there for her just as she has been there for you.