I’m leaving the topic of yoga today to talk about my Mom. Mother’s day is coming up after all.
I’ve always thought of my mother as the epitome of strength. When I was a kid my friends would talk back to their mothers or would ask if they could to do something numerous times after they were told no. When I was told no, they would say ‘ask again’. I would look at them like they were crazy. You didn’t do that with my Mom. No meant no. It wouldn’t do you any good to ask again and you might just end up in a world of trouble. This was one way that she displayed her strength. You didn’t need to guess with my mother, you knew where you stood. She was also very caring. One time I was invited to a birthday party for one of my best friends but when I showed up (present in hand) her mother told me that there were too many kids and I couldn’t come in. When I got home, quite upset, my Mom decided that we would have a really fun day. We went out to dinner and went to see Superman which was playing in theatres plus I got to keep the present. She always knew the right thing to do.
When I was in junior high school she stood up for me when appropriate with a nasty principal but was willing to let me get punished if that was what should happen. She was strong enough to tell a court officer who she knew personally to treat me like any other criminal when I was caught shoplifting because she felt it was for my own good (I did stop shoplifting after that). She was strong enough to know that she had to be my parent first and worry about being my friend later.
I’m sure that in my teen years I caused my mother a great deal of stress and worry. My parents had to look for me in bars, find me the morning after a party when I didn’t come home, and fly me home from Quebec when I ran away. Through it all, my Mom kept her balance; she didn’t blame herself for my behavior so she was able to keep parenting me. I would be angry with her for whatever punishment she came up with, but I never questioned that she loved me.
In high school and my earlier adult years I had a lot of trouble with alcohol. My mother had the strength to tell me that I had a problem, but she also had the strength to just witness it without judgment and without trying to work her will with me. She had the strength to just be there for me when I fell (which I did). She was always straight with me and yet I never felt judged by her when I was screwing up. When I came home from BC single and pregnant my Mom told me that she would be there for me no matter what I chose to do. And she has truly been a co-parent to my daughter over the past 21 years. She simply took on the grandparent role with joy.
She was also there to celebrate when I started to get my act together. She has spent countless hours over the years listening to me when I was coming from a very negative place and was there to help guide me as I started to explore my spirituality.
What might be most special about my Mom is that she had the strength to let go of my childhood when the time was right and knew when I needed a friend more than a parent. Somewhere along the way my Mom became my best friend.