Saturday, May 10, 2014

On Mother’s Day: A daughter is just a little girl who grows up to be your best friend

 “Motherhood is a choice you make every day to put someone else’s happiness and well-being ahead of your own, to teach the hard lessons, to do that right thing even when you’re not sure what the right thing is… and to forgive yourself, over and over again, for doing everything wrong.”

My mom is my best friend and my greatest teacher. She taught me how to love, how to forgive and how to be a good mother; she showed me when to be strict and when to be compassionate, when to buckle down and when to let loose. She dedicated her life to her children and never asked anything in return. Simply put, she is the epitome of what a mother should be, and every day I strive to be as good a person and mother as she is.

Perhaps normal to those on the outside looking in, I know that there is nothing normal about her. She is my role model, my biological and emotional roadmap and the arbiter of all of my relationships. She taught her children that our place in the world is wherever and whatever we want it to be, and her faith in us gave us the courage to follow our own paths. She instilled independence in my brother and me because she didn’t teach us to lean on her—she taught us that leaning was unnecessary. She is a truly great person and a great mother, and there is nothing “normal” about that.

I’ll never forget the words my mom said to me when I told her that I was having my second girl: “Now you’ll have two best friends!”

For my mom it was such an obvious statement because she had been best friends with her mom, and she and I are best friends. Now I have two chances to have that amazing relationship that she had with her mom, and that she and I have – because no one knows you, understands you or loves you quite like your mother.

I am so thankful to be able to call the person who literally molded me my best friend, and I pray that I will have that relationship with my daughters. At least I know that I have a great road map laid in front of me, one that was drawn by my mother and her mother before that.

Elizabeth Edwards once said, “My job as the mother of daughters is to make sure my children see that every opportunity is available to them.” My mom did that, and I hope I can do that for my girls. If I can be even half the mother she is, then my daughters are truly blessed.

So Happy Mother’s Day to my mom, and to all of the moms out there – even if you are “normal” to the outside world, know that you are extraordinary to your children.