Saturday, May 9, 2009
Sometimes I wonder what my daughters will remember about their mom after they are grown. Will they remember that I tried to make nice meals, and bake cookies, sew pretty things, bought them pretty clothes and nice toys. That I kept their art cabinet well-stocked or that I tried to enjoy craft time with them?
Will they remember that I sold clothing, that I was addicted to ebay, that I was a runner and that I spent a lot of time on the computer?
Will they remember that I didn't garden, was afraid of worms, would rather sunbathe than swim with them, and liked my coffee hot, black and all day?
They may remember pieces of those, but I wonder what will stick?
That I hugged and kissed them hello and goodbye, good-morning and goodnight. That I told them that I loved them as many times as possible everyday. That we ate together as a family nearly every night. That I was there for them - for their tears, their laughter, their concerts, their broken hearts. That I was always there to listen, and hopefully not judge.
That I yelled sometimes, but always apologized. That I was strict and made them go to bed at 7pm even in the Summer. That they had to eat good, healthy food. That I insisted on good manners - please, thank you, waiting for an invitation to play in someone else's yard. That I made them pick up other people's garbage instead of just walking by.
When I think about my Mom, it's not her cooking I remember. In fact, I don't remember one meal from growing up. My mom isn't known for her cooking or baking or sewing for that matter, but I don't remember many times that we didn't sit down as a family to eat our evening meal.
We didn't have craft days or even go to the zoo very often, and I don't remember a museum we attended. We lived in a small town and went for picnics, went swimming, rode bikes and visited friends.
We didn't take European or even Mexican vacations, we went to Minnesota to visit family.
My mom didn't stay at home, or wear an apron or decorate my room. My mom worked. When my mom was single, and I was 6 and my brother was 7, we would get ourselves off to school by ourselves and come home to an empty house with Mr. Rogers and Sesame Street as our babysitters. When mom returned home, we always had dinner as a family..and she also insisted on lights out by 7pm. My brother and I would lay in our beds, in the room we shared and listen to the kids play outside our bedroom window while we faked our slumber.
My mom taught me how to make decisions and tough choices and how to be a good person. To respect others, to help others, to not be selfish and to make time for family, friends and strangers.
My mom let me spread my wings as a teenager and fly and soar and sometimes fall. My mom made sure we had chores at home and were responsible for our home, equally, as a family. My mom would wake me up extra early on Saturday mornings to clean the house every week when I was a teenager - even earlier if she knew I had broken curfew the night before and smelled a bit like Boonesfarm.
I counted the days until I could move away from home. My mom never tried to stop me from moving away or told me that I couldn't. My mom never put herself or her feelings first.
Now, the things I most wanted to move away from are what I am trying to teach to my own small daughters. At this point, I am really okay even if they hate me when they are teenagers and think I am mean and unfair.
They don't even have to remember the pretty clothes or the cookies or the crafts. I just want them to remember that I was there for them, and was there for hugs if they needed them - and tried my best to provide the best childhood I could for them - and eventually taught them to fly away.
Posted by Tracy at 12:21 PM