Saturday, January 5, 2008

My Mother (and also the rest of my parents)

My mother drives me nuts. She is a drama-queen, she is nosy, and she is also my best friend, whom I love so dearly. No, she isn't dying, or dead for those of you whose heads will jump to morbid conclusions. She just is deserving of some out-loud lovin' right now.
Without her I wouldn't have grown up believing that women are capable of doing anything they damn well want without needing a man around. Of course, it was my father who taught me I can be as strong as a man, so he'll be needing the credit for that one. But, watching my mother be a single parent, watching her juggle life and its many, many hardships taught me .. well I suppose how to juggle. It taught me that things never are quite the way you want them to be and even if they get that way life has a way of tossing them all back up in the air again, so you better learn to juggle.
My parents haven't always believed in me like I wish they would've. If they did, they didn't show it to me well enough or convincingly enough that I knew and felt it. I'm not writing this to condemn them, though it is something I'm trying to take into account in the raising of my own children, because it taught me a lot. It taught me that I really had to believe in myself, because if I didn't there certainly was no guarantee that anyone else would. That in turn taught me to trust my gut and my intuition. My mother used to like to tell me "that's reality, deal with it," to which I would tell her I couldn't. And I couldn't, I can't, I can't live her reality. I had to learn that reality can be different for different people. You must be able to see your own path, know your own reality, and then try to find a way to coexist with others (and their realities) in this world. In every way it was their lack of belief in me, their inability to see my reality, to trust that I knew what I was doing that made me strong. And I am strong. I will never doubt my strength for one minute and I trust in my intuition. I trust in it and myself even if others don't, though when they do it is certainly a great deal of comfort and support.
I'm sure in reading this it doesn't sound like a compliment, but that is what it is meant as. I am so grateful for my mother, and also the rest of my parents. I am lucky enough to now have double the usual number of parents. But it is my mother I am closest to. We fight and we bicker, but we're always "back to baking brownies" before you know it (a term coined by my stepfather). My mother is a very active and involved grandmother in my sons' lives ... even if at times I think she forgets that they aren't actually her own children. But I would much rather it this way than the other way.
Even if they haven't always shown it the best way, or if they haven't done it the way I would prefer, I know my parents will always support me. I know they will always be there for me. I am grown up enough now to know that some things that came across as a lack of faith were more likely a showing of fear. No-one tells you about the fear that comes with parenting. That constant fear that something bad will happen to your children and you won't be able to do anything about it. Ok, maybe they do tell you, but it never sinks in, because it can't until you have your own children and you feel that terrible, terrible, gut-wrenching, heart-stopping fear. I am grown enough now to be able to see that perhaps what I was seeing all along was their fear that something bad would happen to me. Of course, that is the other side of the coin: if nothing bad ever happens to you, how can you really live and be alive?
So this is my thank you to my mom, as well as the rest of my parents. My ode to them, to let them know how much I love them, how grateful I am for everything that they have done, and continue to do, for me and for my own family. ~ Namaste ~

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