It’s my Mom’s birthday today. I had wanted to write a long and lovely post telling you about all the things that are wonderful about her (and to capture them all, it would be a long post indeed!) but the whole newborn-in-the-house thing coupled with the I’m-brain-dead-from-sleep-deprivation thing, with a heaping helping of mothers-of-newborns-aren’t-supposed-to-get-sick, is playing havoc with my muse. The great thing is, she’d be completely sympathetic to this and just tell me to not worry about it. It’s the thought that counts. And she’d really believe it, too.
If you’ve been reading the blog for any length of time, you know my Mom and I are quite close. It’s wonderful to be at a stage in my life when she can be both my mother and friend. And it’s somewhere between funny and scary how much of a mother she can still be to me, her 38-year-old baby, and how often she comes through for me when I need her for things both large and small. She has been an ideal role model as a mother, and the best of what I am as a mother is directly attributable to her. (The worst, I take responsibility for myself. Either that, or you can blame my Dad!)
A few of the many things I learned from my mother:
- Bullshit baffles brains.
- There is nothing you can’t do. But, you don’t have to do it all.
- Treat everyone with kindness and respect, but pay special attention to the support people in an organization. Make friends with the secretaries, the clerks and the janitors, and your life will be much easier.
- If you love me, buy me things.
- There is no higher law than a mother’s word.
- Corollary: don’t mess with Mom.
- Be easy on yourself. If you are doing the best you can, it’s the best you can do. Don’t expect more from yourself than you would from others.
- If you’ve got it, flaunt it!
I’ve been pecking away at this post in stolen moments all day, and it’s not coming out anything like the tribute I’d like to pay to the most wonderful woman I know. I was thinking about her when I was nursing Lucas just now, and realized that perhaps the most telling thing about my mother and my relationship with her is this: I can’t recall a single time in my life, as a child or a teenager or an adult, when I wished someone else were my mother. No matter whether we were butting heads (and luckily for me, we didn’t do that often) or whether I was misbehaving outright (and because of her, I really don’t think I did that too often either), I always knew – I always know – that my mother loves me dearly and deeply.
My mother is a strong, smart, funny and immensely likeable woman, and I’m fiercely proud to be her daughter. The highest compliment I can pay her is that I hope I do as good a job raising my boys as she (and my Dad) did in raising Sean and me. Looking back, there is nothing I could hope to do to improve my relationship with my mother, and nothing I would ever want her to change about herself. And I hope to be as good of a friend to my boys when they are grown and with families of their own as my mother is to me today.
One of the very best things about my relationship with my mother now, aside from the fact that she is one of my very best friends and confidants and co-conspirators, is watching the boys loving her. I had a great relationship with my grandparents, and hardly a day goes by that I am not grateful that five years ago this month my folks made the decision to move across the province from London to Ottawa to be closer to us. She spoils the boys silly, of course, but she’s earned that right. It’s truly lovely to see her firmly ensconced as the matriarch of a family of the five grandchildren who have appeared over the last six years, a gift that my brother and I have been happy to share.
Happy birthday, Mom! We all love you, more every day.