My Mom

Mother's Day is on Sunday. I've always been close to my Mom.  Sometimes painfully too close. She's been my best friend, my confidant, the person who really knows all my shit and still loves me.  I know that I take her for granted, because just knowing that she is around, out there in the world, doing her thing, brings me peace.  She's a remarkable woman who I've looked up to since I was wee.

Having my son, a mere 6 years ago, gave me an entirely new appreciation for my Mom.  I don't think I ever understood how much she felt my life, my triumphs, my failures, my highs and my lows, until I had my own son.  I knew she loved me, but I didn't understand that her heart felt even deeper the scars of my heart.  I understand now that all she really wanted was a happy, healthy life for me and my brother.  A life free from struggle and pain.  A life where we could be free to be who we needed to be.  I think we both found out the hard way that one of the greatest struggles of being a human is learning how to struggle and feel pain on our own, independently.

I watch my son growing into a boy, and I think of how she must have watched me grow into a woman.  Yesterday a kid called him a nasty name and I very literally wanted to go find that kid and pull off his head and kick it around the playground.  It's a deep protection that my mom always had for me. Now I feel it.  It's not always pretty, but it's primal. It's love.

I remember for the majority of my youth pushing hard against my Mom, wanting freedom, wanting independence from her.  I wanted to be ME.  I wanted to wear what I wanted, color my hair how I wanted, spend time with the people I wanted, express myself in ten million ways until I found the way that felt right.  I think my mom, when she was 23...had no idea that she was giving birth to a high-spirited, independent, do-it-yourself, sometimes flaky, kind of ass-kicker daughter.

But she probably did.

I love you Mom.  I no longer take your love for me for granted. I understand you more now than I ever have, and I know that we will always be connected, whether on this planet or not....