Today is the day that children everywhere will stop to reflect on the woman who holds the position of mother in their life. I can be no different. Many mothers sit on a pedestal to be looked up to and reveled in all her glory. Not my mother. We, her children, stand in stature heads above her. In character and heart, we soar. Harsh, critical, and judgemental it sounds. I feel much guilt that she doesn't sit on a pedestal in my heart. However, the lines of child and mother have been blurred so many years now that it's hard to put on her rose-colored glasses and believe otherwise.
I look at the old pictures when we were young and try to remember times where she healed scrapes and bruised egos. The memories don't exist, at least not in which she played the role of healer. Her children were often the ones to step in and rescue her from the scrapes and bruises that came too often and too regular to forget. We were her protector when it should have been the other way around. We nurtured each other and gave ourselves the solid ground we needed to thrive.
Was it always this way? I'm not sure. I think at some point the maternal instinct had to have resided inside her for her to sire four children. But, somewhere along the way it stopped and she walked away from it emotionally, if not physically. We became an adornment, a photo-op. We went along for the ride.
Years later, I tried to make sense of it all. What it was that I expected and why those expectations were not met. Part of me believed that my expectations were unreasonable and I still do. As an adult, I can look at things in a different perspective. I've made many mistakes in my life trying to find my way. However, the mistakes I made taught me something about myself and even a little about my mother. Although, I feel I will never quite understand her. She is an enigma to me. Making my own mistakes has taught me that parents are not perfect. They are human. Unfortunately, when a person has children the mistakes they make can be far-reaching, affecting not only themselvesbut the lives of their children as well. Her mistakes affected us deeply but in spite of it all we grew to be loving, giving adults. None of us chose the route of victim, to lay blame at the feet of our mother for the choices we made. We rose above our circumstance and took responsibility for the lives we chose. In our own ways, we have healed and moved on from the past. And, through it all, we've managed to keep a relationship with the woman we call our mother. I think it's because we each know that she is the only mother we will ever have. Warts and all, she is the woman who brought us into this world. She's the only mother we will ever have and because of that we love her.
I look at pictures of my mother when she was young and wonder what it was that shaped her into the woman she became. Did her dreams come true? Is she happy with the way her life turned out? As hard as it is to comprehend, she was a child once with hopes and dreams. It's an equalizer of sorts. For, I too, was a child once. Looking out to the world for the answers that I could only find within myself. Many questions are left to be answered. Is it still the same for her?
I wish I could say I understand it all. The emotions inside me are still mixed up with the little girl that has tried to make sense of it all. But, ultimately, I know that she's my mother and I'm grateful for my life. However, it came to be, it is as it should be and I'm happy. I hope the same for her. That the little girl within has come to terms with the woman she became and somewhere within lies peace and happiness. You're not who I thought you should be. You'll always be My Enigma - My Mother. But, I love you nonetheless. Happy Mother's Day.