Now that I am a mother, I understand my mom a lot more, as I am sure all new mothers do. For instance, I used to think she was joking when she prayed for patience. Now I know better; she was praying for patience so that she wouldn’t end up in jail for seriously harming any of us. The main difference between me and my mom in terms of parenting is age. She was 21 when she had me and I just made it under the 40 mark when I had Jack. 4o years old is a generation older than 21, especially considering starting a family. However, I still feel as helpless as she did most likely at times, despite my years and the “wisdom” they supposedly bring.
I have new-found respect for my mom when it comes to domesticity. She was the queen of a clean house and a dinner on the table by 6pm, despite a full time job. I don’t know how she did it. I find that take out is my best friend and let’s not even get into how I fail at “keeping house”. We almost never had takeout when I was a kid. My mom cooked every night! She was one of the few moms in the neighborhood that did. Everyone wanted to have dinner at my house. As a matter of fact, there was one point in my early adolescence that I refused to go out to dinner with the family because my mom’s cooking was way better than restaurant food. I would rather have had cheerios at home than go out to dinner. And I did. Stay home and eat cheerios, that is. My mom is an amazing cook. She grew up cooking only Mexican cuisine, but, in adulthood, she mastered American favorites and studied French cooking when she lived in France. When I found out I had been accepted to Northwestern University’s opera program (after three attempts!), I asked that she make Steak Au Poivre for my victory dinner. It was amazing and I still remember it.
My mom is always there for me. No matter what. She is always supportive of whatever I do. Music, purple hair, dropping out of college, returning to college, sewing, and Jack. When I announced I was pregnant with Jack and going to raise him as a single parent, she was the first to stand behind me. When Jack was born, she stayed with me for five weeks while I recovered from a C-section and was hazed introduced to motherhood, all the while fighting her own extreme tiredness.
She may not think she is brave, but she is. She may not think she is strong, but she is. She is the strongest person I know. I guess that’s why she’s survived so many struggles. I have heard that God doesn’t give you what you cannot handle. Well, apparently my mom can handle a lot.
I hope you have a wonderful Mother’s Day Mom. Know that I am finally starting to understand what it means to be a mother and what you did for us as a family. I have lots of hope and dreams still, even as a woman “of a certain age”, but my main dream is to be as strong, supportive and as wonderful a mother to Jack as you were to all of us.
I love you Mom.