An Open Letter to My Mom This Mother’s Day
Like most mother-daughter relationships, the relationship that I've had with my mama has been an up and down one. My mom and I couldn't be more different. My mom is more of the soft-spoken type who prefers soft music and lace and I definitely toe the line of being brash in my jeans and t-shirts, preferring 90s alternative. However, there are two huge personality traits that my mom and I have always shared- we're both incredibly stubborn and we're both total control freaks.
While my mom and I have disagreed and disagreed hard over the years, we've also loved and loved hard. It's remarkable really, that although my mom and I are both such passionate people, neither of us stifles the other. We may not always be on the same page, but we do have respect for each other.
Several years ago our family had a terrible scare when my mom got so sick that she had to be admitted to the hospital. We weren't sure that she would pull through and my siblings and I all jumped to take care of my dad and our three youngest siblings. We also took turns checking in on mom while she was in the hospital and while we may not always participate in every family event and we might have times that we're awful when it comes to returning calls and emails, but when the serious stuff hits, we all come together and when we do, we create an unstoppable force.
This Mother's Day, I have a few things to tell my mom.
I'm sorry for all of the times when I was younger that I told you that I hated you. I've always felt things on a different level than most, but hate is such a strong word and I didn't really mean it, I was just spitting fire. Now that I'm a mom, I understand how much me hurling out how much I hated you must have hurt, and to the core, but I hope you know that I didn't really mean what I said. I was just being an emotional and dramatic girl and what's more dramatic than spitting fire?
You told me not long ago that you've been cuddling kids for 40 years and that you were really sad to think that those days are coming to an end as your baby is now a teenager. I'm sorry that I didn't just lay in your arms a little longer when you wanted to snuggle. My boy is growing up way too fast and doesn't like to cuddle the way he used to. It hurts my heart just as I'm sure you felt hurt when I pushed away from you. If you want, I'm totally up for a visit once it's safe. We can lay next to each other and catch up just like old times.
When you were a single mom, you did an amazing job of handling day to day life with the four of us big kids. Just the thought of going to the grocery store by myself with my five-year-old makes me want to vomit. You, you were the master of going to the grocery store solo with four little ones in tow. You never lost a single one of us. Great job, Mom! No really- I can't tell you how many of my friends (and even my husband) have told me stories of getting lost while shopping with their parents. I swore when I was a kid (and still do as an adult) that you've got eyes in the back of your head.
When I look back at photos of when I was younger, I understand why you were always trying to get me to stop wearing black. You're right- I really do look more approachable when I wear vibrant colors. And you're right about my hair. I could be wearing a bag, but if my hair is washed and styled, I somehow manage to look put together. I wish I could tell you that as an adult I spend the time on my hair that you want me to, but the reality is that I don't. I'll get there one day though. Maybe when my boy is grown and I average more than four hours of sleep a night and am able to shower without company.
I'm so sorry that when I lived under your roof I wasn't mature enough to appreciate the sacrifices you made for us kids. The lack of sleep, the missed or cold meals, not buying anything for yourself or pampering yourself because you'd use what little money you had to make sure we were taken care of. I appreciate that now though.
I know you probably wished that you could have given us kids more, but you did the best with what you had. If anyone could make frying a roll in butter fun, it was you. I remember times that's all we had for food, but you made it to be the best thing ever and we believed. Sometimes when I'm feeling down, I grab a roll and fry it in butter. It's funny the comfort it brings me.
Happy Mother's Day, Mom. Thanks for always keeping me on my toes and holding me accountable for my actions, even now that I'm grown.
I love you, Mom.