Sunday, May 10, 2009

MORE THAN JUST MOM


Unabashedly (for which I am grateful), my mom admits that I was the toughest kiddo to rear. First out and bashing my head against anything I didn't like, bruising my psyche and prepping the path for the five to follow.

By the Good Lord's mercy alone, Mom and I made it through my adolescence alive, and surprise!, still speaking. (And who says there aren't modern day miracles?)

When I was eighteen Mom flew over to Hawaii to deposit me at school for however long it took me to get it done. When she drove away, I cried pretty hard. Turns out that despite my nasty words and prodigious mouthing-off, I loved her. In the moments I watched the retreating lights of her car, my puerile mind had a slight moment of clarity, realizing that the rented Mustang convertible was taking the familiarity of Mom to leave me with my new roommate who was inside the dorm noshing on raw crab and poi. And that she was a familiarity I would miss.

My yen to leave home for college was one of the smartest things my parents could encourage and support (both emotionally and fiscally), for being away did what it does and allowed for me to calm down, become more human, and recognize the will and fortitude that is my mother. Thus while I studied Carl Sandburg's foggy cat feet and interpreted Fitzgerald's particular side of Paradise, I also developed the respect for my mom that my previous formative years had lacked.

And with that multifactorial respect, affection born of reason surfaced.

The most influential and gratifying friendships I have are those predicated on my admiration and respect for the individual. That said, I feel favored to confidently call my mom my friend. It took years of framing, some time to mend, and a personal realization that I had repenting to do and perhaps a good way to go about it would be to abandon the behaviors I'd become so skilled at. Wisdom of years? Perhaps. But only built on the concept that a relationship with my mom was worth such a change.

Our Sue isn't one of those overbearing matriarchs. She doesn't ram her opinions down her kids' throats. Instead, she observes as we make decisions, and I believe that she prays when she sees that the choices are rotten. But she doesn't interfere, as she has great esteem for lessons learned through error, ignorance, or misdirection and lets us bumble when necessary.

When we're bumbling, should we have the wisdom to seek her counsel or buoying, she'll yield her thoughts, but until we reach for it of our own accord, she's not seated on our shoulders nagging, pinching, and pushing as so very many mothers do. Though I don't believe it's easy, she stands back and waits. She once told me that as a parent the only thing she felt she could/should do when she's watched her kids run towards a [metaphorical] cliff, was to stand at the bottom and wait to help whichever daughter has fallen stand up, patch up her wounds, and move on.

Thanks so much for that, Mom. No, I don't like learning my lessons, but apparently it needs to be done and I'd much rather like my mother than feel that I'm burdened by her constant domineering nature. I pity those daughters and sons.

By way of her example I'm independent (or at least working towards it in certain areas). I'm moderately confident. I'm adept at multitasking. I respect the man that my spouse is. I try to nag less and listen more. I'm a writer [of sorts]. I'm a researcher. I'm a good sister.

My mom is all of those things. On a grander scale than I am, to be sure. And because I've watched her, learned and try to apply, I'm getting better at all of the above and I keep adding to my list of what I've discovered she is and I can become.


For your example, your love, your trials, and interpretation of experience I thank you, Mom. I love you, and I feel privileged to be the daughter of a woman who justly garners respect.

Happy Mother's Day, Sue.

4 comments:

rookie cookie said...

Mom is going to cry her eyes out when she reads this- just so you know.

Well done sister.

theflanfam said...

Aside from my mom, your mom has to be the coolest mom in the world.

Anonymous said...

Hi Megan--I have enjoyed reading your blog, finding you through your cool mom. By the way, you look beautiful and I am happy to see you have not lost your spunk. I had a feeling you would write a tribute to your mom, so I thought I would pop over so I could say--you do have the coolest mom and I love her too. The coolest part of your mom is how she has worked to know her Savior and follow Him. I look up to her so much for that. You are one lucky girl and she is one lucky mom to have her chicks (and now the husbands of her chicks-welcome to the world of boys). Thanks for sharing the cool things about your mom with all of us and I will always feel honored to be half of Su and Suep in YW (remember that?). I have to post anon because my computer won't let me use my email to post.

Mal Robin said...

So accurate. Thanks for writing that.