The first time you hold that tiny, helpless baby in your arms, you realize you are their entire world. They look to you for love, protection and nurturing. To them, you are their everything, an all knowing supreme being.
From this exalted position, there is only one way to go.
I was no different, of course, and by the time I was 21, I was desperate to escape my parents’ house and their “ignorance”. My mom was happy to see me go and even gave me a going away present when I got my first apartment.
As I adjusted to my new life as a young adult, I started to realize my mom might know some things I didn’t.
There was no internet back then and finding information took some work. Mom was always home and had instant answers, kind of like Google is today.
Although Mom’s rating was gradually rising, it got a big bump up when I became engaged. I had waited until June to go shopping for a dress for my early August wedding and found the selection at the mall picked over. I found an off white “maxi” dress that was too short, but since it was on sale for $19, I bought two, thinking I could lengthen one with material from the other.
It was a delusional fiasco.
After years of languishing at the bottom of the ratings, Mom was back in action. She was at the top of her game with authoritative answers, plausible solutions and decisive plans of action.
I stopped pretending that I didn’t need her.
In those early years of starting my own family I turned to her constantly. As the years passed, I grew confident in my own knowledge and no longer needed her for domestic consultations.
Before I knew it, our roles had reversed.
I still thought of Mom as the matriarch of the family. I looked to her for knowledge, though now it was about family history and what I needed to know before she and the memories and stories in her head were gone forever.
I liked knowing there was someone, generationally, “above me”. Maybe you never quit seeing your mom as that All Knowing Supreme Being who is more interested in you than anyone else on earth.
It can be a hard thing to let go.
Mom died surrounded by her three daughters on March 31, 2009. I held her hand until she was gone. It wasn’t until I was trying to discuss arrangements with Dad that the loss hit me.
I still miss Mom, but have embraced being the “above me” person to my own children. They’re smarter that I ever was and have the internet, so my role is mostly ceremonial.
One day, I climbed into my daughter’s couch pit with my grandson under my arm. In that moment, I was struck by where I was in the generational cycle and blurted out my thoughts.
I regretted bringing it up. She doesn’t need to think about it now and I’m hoping to keep the torch lit and waiting for a long time.
Hope you all have warm memories of your moms today. Happy Mother’s Day!