Ahhh…family. With love and any luck, our world begins and ends with good family. Between our brothers and sisters and grandparents and cousins, our parents are the ones most familiar to us. For many of us, parents are the people we count on when times get tough, the ones we flock to during holidays, and who we seek out and cling to during other happy and sad occasions. We do this because we know they always love us unconditionally—as we do them.
To narrow the field down even more, let’s talk about our mothers. Moms are the ones who take care of us when we’re sick, hug us when we’re in tears, and discipline us when we’re misbehaving. We care so deeply for our mothers because we know their nurturing hand is always there to wish us well. No matter how bad things get in life, regardless of what we do or say, mothers forgive, help, or stand strong for us; all depending on what we need at the time. And always out of love.
What is most interesting are the unique ways you can picture your mother. For years, she took care of you, guided you, reprimanded you, and loved you; now, however, you are grown. Now you are out in the world, making your own way, and you start to realize that this woman, your mother, is more than just your mom—she is a woman who has been hurt, faced fear, cursed at times, and yes, loved in the same ways you have. The timing may be different, the course may be different, but you finally see the reasons for her chosen path. She is not perfect—nor are you. Yet you understand her better because you see her better. You took off the blinders that identified her only in one way—as your mother. Now enlightened, you see the possibilities of her as a friend or perhaps even that little girl who was just trying to make it in this world. This is the time when you genuinely connect with her as a person. You had one relationship with her before this moment, but now you find you have her in more variety—as a mother, a woman, and a friend.
Take a look at this series of interviews that Jane Friedman conducted between mothers and daughters. Jane is a writer, editor, and visiting assistant professor at the University of Cincinnati. The series is entitled When Mom Was My Age. There are new interviews posted every Monday so stay tuned for more updates. If you want to participate, you can contact Jane directly.
When you look at your mother as an individual, instead of as your mom, many conversations and heartfelt moments can transpire. I know the day I finally saw my mother as a woman—someone just like me. It was then that I was able to connect with her in a way unlike the past. Now that she is gone from this world, I see even more.
Check out the interviews here.
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By the time I finished reading “What I Didn’t Know About My Mother’ tears filled my eyes. This is so profound. But it’s exactly the way I feel. I have four daughters, all married, all have children. I will certainly share these words with them.
You words are so kind. I hope that you and your daughters find more inspiration on my website. I go over a host of topics regarding relationships: mates, family, children, and friends. Not to mention those wonderful little creatures we have as pets. 🙂