Being the national holiday of celebrating MOM, I wonder the proper way to acknowledge my very own mom…in a way that she might truly get how appreciated she is. I bought a book, candy, a soap scrubber, and some tanktops for her… but somehow, it doesn’t really seem like enough.
When I was younger I never listened to my mom… and if I did, it was because I had no other choice. “You can go to the movies with the boys as long as Joce and Sarah are there” or “Come home right after work” or “You better not miss church again” or “Be polite; did you say thank you?” or “No you can’t go over to (so and so’s) house after the game, it’ll be after 11” or “You better not be driving Jocelyn’s parents’ vehicle, even though you have your ‘N'” she’d say, and I would go along…with most of it. I didn’t get it then, I had a case of ‘all my friends parents let them do it’ in the worst way. But my mom’s gentle persistence and guidance…and sometimes downright anger… controlled me when I did go over the edge and start partying and getting into trouble… because I still maintained some responsibility, and quit almost as fast as I began.
I think when I was younger I prided myself on being the “bad kid.” Dad would shake his head because he couldn’t believe that what I did or what just came out of my mouth was from his kid. 🙂 Mom on the otherhand, told me once that I was the easiest to get angry at because I was the quickest of her children to forgive. I like that. NO I didn’t like getting yelled at… but now, my old age (haha), I’ve been empowered by that and an inability to hold a grudge. I am quick to forgive but I think it’s because I learnt from my mom because I know with the trouble I have been, Mom has always been quite forgiving. I needed that.
My mom has six children and we are all vastly different. I know about myself, and Mom knows too, that I need to figure things out on my own. It doesn’t matter how often she tells me to get a parking pass, I still need to get X number of tickets before giving in. It took two letters and not getting my tax return after Mom told me to deal with it, before I phoned BC Health to get coverage as a student. It took tough love and not trusting me anymore for me to recognize that I didn’t want the party lifestyle for myself. It took 4 days of agonizing and unbearable pain for me to finally go get kidney x-rays and ultrasounds, after Mom had told me to from the get go. I need to, my personality and who I am, figure things out solely on my own. It’s really nice knowing I have a mom who understands that…and lets it be so.
When I was 11, I got a nasty report card about how I treated two girls in my class (God’s forgiven me since… I was a callous, catty, popular grade 6er…) and dealt a LOT that year with girl “problems.” I remember the first thing Mom asked me whenever I would come home with a story or tears would be “Well Kate, what did you do?” That used to drive me crazy! Here I was crying and wanting her to hug me but Mom would always ask me what I did in order for me to take responsibility first. I appreciate that more than anyone could ever know. I am sure there are parents out there who take their kid’s side all the time, every time, but I am so thankful mine doesn’t. She plays for my team but she wouldn’t sideswipe my opponent, even if she thought they were wrong or mean first, she’d make sure I was or wasn’t an instigator first. At that age, I usually was… but now I am always questioning myself first. It’s good and I owe it to my Mom.
I gave my mom a card this morning that said something like “I love how you don’t have to ‘get me’ to love me.” I think a few years ago my Mom submitted to the fact that I was a rare breed and rather than let it confuse her, she decided to love me for it. I used to feel suffocated because the things Dad and Mom could get angry at me for never really made sense (some of them anyways!). Often, their anger would rest on things I came by naturally and innocently, simply because that’s who I am! I remember yelling that at them once “I HONESTLY DIDN’T KNOW… I don’t think like that!” Whether it be a blessing or a burden, I like telling my Dad “Like it or not, I am YOUR offspring. Some of this I got from you!” Whereas with mom, I know she loves me because of who I am. Nothing surprises her anymore, she’s a pillar of stability for me in my life. I need that. Someone like me needs that.
Since moving out and going to school, I see in my Mom the things many other people have known for years. In high school, I never cultivated a relationship with her simply because ‘I had no need for her.’ I was on a fast track to freedom and independence… who knew that the only independence and freedom I’ve found is one with a friendship with my parents, especially my mom, at the core.
So she cooks, cleans, takes gorgeous photos, feeds our friends when they come over, hosts amazing family get togethers and spoils her nieces and nephews rotten, threw a beautiful wedding for my sister, takes care of my Dad, loves phone calls from her friends and sisters, favours the Body Shop’s Satsuma scent, watches Little House on the Prairie, Hope and Faith, and Reba a little too often, looks pretty in the summertime with her stylishly bright tanktops and her dark Okanagan tanned skin, chauffeur’s the kids who can’t drive, loves Willow Tree Angels, cuddles Jayme at night, puts other people ahead of herself all the time, every time, supports us even if she doesn’t get it, keeps her head up when most people’s would’ve fallen down.
But for me, she’s my new friend, my dearest friend, who’s sage advice, experiences, love, kindness, forgiveness, laughter, sincereity, and vulnerability has given me not only the best type of friend but the best type of woman as an example for me to aspire to be.
I love you mom. You rock.