Mother’s Day is fast approaching, which means there will probably be a (well-deserved) wave of posts honoring the women who brought us all into this world. While I always make sure to say what I mean and mean what I say, when it comes to being openly emotive and mushy?
This is not a trait I inherited from my mom, as she openly proclaims her love for people and things at an almost disturbingly frequent rate, hugging people she just met and tearing up over a random card I might send in the mail.
I used to find this annoying, and to be honest, sometimes I still do. Perhaps it’s the fact that it’s often hard to relate to a virtue in someone else that you can’t easily conceive of in yourself.
But as an adult I’ve learned to navigate these differences and approach our relationship differently. She’ll never change who she is—loving, but stubborn as hell—and accepting our differences instead of constantly fighting against them has really been key as the years have gone by.
Which brings me to my point.
I’ve written about my mom’s disability before, but it can be summarized by saying she’s had 13 spinal surgeries, among other issues, and her neck and spine are completely fused.
Even though things weren’t “normal” with my mom when I was a kid—surgeries, braces, body casts—she made sure that everything else I knew was. I was raised with the knowledge that I was special, I was smart, I was loved.
Things haven’t become easier as time has gone on. I still worry about her on a daily basis, and I know she still worries about me. We both have our reasons to worry. But no matter what I might doubt in this world—myself, humanity, the validity of expiration dates on ChapStick—one thing I will never, ever doubt is the love that my mom has for me.
How she does it—how any parent does it—amazes me.
I would be a mess.
The thought of loving something that much, watching that little person leave my side or feel pain or hurt or sadness in any way, feeling so helpless as to how things might turn out—and doing most of this behind that “mom” mask of strength that so many moms seem to wear—all that would scare me to death.
But this isn’t about me.
It’s about my mom—every mom—who goes through these feelings of doubt that they’re doing things “right.” Doubt that their children are happy and loved, that they know they’re happy and loved, that they’re protected enough but not overly so.
Maybe it’s because I’m older now or because I hear it from friends or read it on blogs, but I never fully grasped the scope and the depth of the sacrifice you all so willing make every day, most often with laughter and love.
I thank you.
Because while I’ll never have kids of my own—my level of nurturing and dedication extends only to a (fake) houseplant—I respect the women who do, not just for what they do on a daily basis, but for who they are.
Women who worry. Women who sacrifice. Women who raise their children with the knowledge that they’re special, that they’re smart, that they’re loved and accepted—even if they’re not mushy.
I’ve never had any doubt.
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