Relationship with your mom from mite to madam.1
I’m no a mom, and I’m not planning to become a mom any time soon. Recently though, I have been both spending a lot of time with my own mom and watching some of my friends transition into motherhood. Aside from the crying, diapers, laboring over home made baby food and all-around neuroses some of my friends have developed, the whole process is quite fascinating, for now I am seeing the building blocks, the foundation of what became the closest relationship I have – the one with my mother.
I subscribe to the camp “you don’t get it unless you went through it.” For a short time I was a substance abuse counselor, and at the end of the end, not being an addict made me less equipped to fully understand the addiction. Just like not being a mother, makes me far from expert status on what it’s like to raise a child. However, I do see the changes in my friends and the shift in their personalities. Now their children, over shoe sales, advanced degrees and losing five pounds, are the center of their lives. The little things they do now, like spending hours on hand-made birthday invitations, are what they will remember twenty years from now when they are making college graduation announcements. And while tedious projects seem like a waste of time now, they are something that someday, in someway, their children will appreciate.
At my mom’s house last weekend, we found a box of old pictures. In it was a photo album from my birth and flipping through pages of baby pictures, seeing my mom’s adoring face, I, for the first time, realized that at one point I was the sole center of her universe. Then came my brother. But seriously, he also had his centric moments, for children are different – thankfully – and loved and appreciated for different things. While I was talkative and borderline hyper-inquisitive, my brother was an intense observer noticing odd things other children missed. Sure, there aren’t as many pictures of my brother as there are of me – the second child always get short-changed – but in the few there are, you can see the same adoring look on my mom’s face. It is the same look I see now on the faces of my baby-toting friends.
Last week, my best friend sent me a website called Post Cards From Yo Momma. The site features modern day “postcard” – texts and emails – sent from mom. Unable to sleep one night, I pulled up the site and read through pages of mom sent messages. Some featured generational humor – “Sorry to bother you dear, but can you tell us who Lady Gaga is?” – while others posted endearing advice “I found an excellent site to read about egg donation. After reading it, I STRONGLY advise NOT doing it, even though it is better than prostitution.” Funny and endearing, the underlying theme that struck me at this sight was the depth of the relationships. The heartfelt enclosures, sassy sincerelys and teasing emoticons represented the depth of a relationship years and years in the making. And while I’m no momma myself, I appreciate this relationship, and today, might just do something nice for my bright and spirited madre.
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