Friday, April 24, 2009

Happy Birthday Mom!

Today is my mother's birthday, so I thought I would dedicate a post to her to let her know what a wonderful mother she was and continues to be and how much I love her.  

My mother is independent.  She does not like being told what to do.  She passed that love of autonomy to her children, even though it probably made raising us a lot harder.  She let us make our own decisions, even when they were bad, and even though it meant that she had to sit back and watch us take the consequences; I never appreciated just how hard that is until I had children of my own.  It is torture to watch them suffer; but if they don't get to make their own mistakes they never really learn.  

My mother is brave.  She takes risks.  She taught me that sometimes you have to have faith in the Universe, hold your breath, and jump!  Chances are things will work out; if not as well as you hoped, then at least not as badly as you feared.  And you will probably gain a new perspective along the way, which is always a good thing.

My mother is kind.  She believes in being nice and treating other people well.  She assumes that everyone is intelligent, decent and has good motives, which means that she is constantly shocked when they turn out to be assholes, or selfish, or incredibly stupid.  But on balance, I think it is better to think everyone is great and be surprised when someone isn't, rather than assume everyone is a jerk and be surprised when someone is nice.  Maybe that makes you gullible or naive, but it also makes life a lot more pleasant.  Also, niceness breeds niceness, a lesson from which the entire world could benefit.

My mother loves her children.  Sometimes she didn't like us, but we always knew that she loved us.  She told us over, and over, and over again.  She showed us in the way she cared about and for us, our happiness, our place in the world.  Of course she made mistakes, of course she was imperfect.  Aren't we all?  But knowing that she loved us so very very much - that is an important thing to a child.  Knowing that someone loves you so completely and truly tells you that you are worth it.  That you are worth knowing and loving and that you have a right to be here.  That is a powerful thing.

So happy birthday, mom!  Despite all these wonderful things you have given me I still can't manage to get a card to you on time, but I suspect you will forgive me.  Besides, it's coming in a box with some other cool stuff.

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