Thursday, May 5, 2011

motherhood and all that jazz

So you may know that my mom and I don't usually see eye to eye.  She's an interesting person, filled with lots of good blessings.  Maybe we are just a little too much like two sides of the same coin?  I don't know.  I spent years in college psych classes having teachers inform me that I needed to figure this "core relationship" out.  At that point, I was more interested in keeping some good distance between us - to avoid conflict, hurt and a huge amount of annoyance. 

But now, I'm older and I've got my own two little slices of me.  And hanging out with lots of other moms, I feel myself sliding into intermittent fits of jealousy at hearing how one mom or another can call up her mother, rely on her to help out, or just hang out with her on a routine basis.  I can't.  And that's okay too.  My mother is busy with working, and politics (not my flavor, but very involved), and church (ditto previous sentiment) and whatever else fits her fancy.  I can't be part of those groups she's in.  And I want to give her that space.  She chooses to have more distance between us.  Okay.  I can intellectualize all this for myself, and what it means for my life.  But I do mourn over the sweet relationship between Grandmother and grandchild that my own kids are missing out on.  That part sucks.  Royally.  And I don't know that I'll ever get over that. 

But the part of all this that I can be absolutely thankful for (and amazed by) is the presence of my mother-in-law in our lives.  She lives all the way down in Arizona, and we have more contact with her during the year (and even week to week) than with my own parents who live twenty-five minutes from our house.  She is an amazing woman, who I thought I had appreciated during the years we spent getting to know each other before my husband and I had kids.  But now, I feel like she is a mentor mom to me.  Someone who has this amazing ability to make anyone who she's around feel comfortable and loved.  I hope that someday, I can be half the mom and grandmother she is.  I'll live a lot closer as a grandma, unless my own kids move down south (heat and I don't mix well).  But that's far from the point.

So this mother's day, while I'm celebrating how much I have changed through motherhood, and the life I share with my husband, I'll be pulled in two other directions as well.  I'll be thinking of all my sister-friends who have difficult or lost relationships with their own mothers - those who have mothers like mine with miles of emotional distance between them and those with mothers who have passed from this world with light years between what was and what is today, and everyone in between.  And I will be thankful down to my soul that I can spend so much of my life with the mother who nurtured and guided my husband to be the wonderful man (and father) he is.  And I hope she understands at least a little bit of how amazing and important a person she is to us, and especially to me.  Thanks D!  Here's your cyber hug!  Can't wait to hug you in person this summer!

Happy Mother's Day everyone!