Mothers are quite common; each person has one (at least biologically anyway) or has someone they view as a mother figure. Mother’s Day always felt obligatory when I was growing up. We all made wallpaper hats (first grade), acrostic poems (fourth grade), or popsicle picture frames (every kid in the Midwest ever) and awarded them to our gracious mothers with the vague impression that this was proper, although we could not have quantified for what we were thankful if we had tried.
Don’t misunderstand me; I love my mother very much, but it has always proved problematic expressing it adequately.
“Dear Mother, I love how you haven’t disowned me for backtalking, being occasionally sneaky, and otherwise criticizing the way you run your home. Despite the polarity in our dispositions, I recognize how you gave me a delightful childhood, ensured my literacy, and taught me how to have patience with children… well, most of the time (nobody blames you because we were difficult children).”
Growing up is not easy. Part of me has always envied (while being simultaneously repelled) by those girls who call their mothers their best friend or who are described as being carbon copies of their mother. I have no idea what that’s like, and even my sister who is almost exactly like our mother, doesn’t seem to see eye to eye with her. I worry I don’t love or connect with my mother properly, almost in the same manner she used to fret that I didn’t like her the same way I connected with my father.
I could go on, but I think the essence of appreciating one’s mother is simply acknowledging the bond you will always have with her by the years shared and the lessons imparted, even if those lessons included a lot of struggling to understand the other.