Growing up, our parents tell us all kinds of things. Don’t sit so close to the TV, you’ll ruin your eyes. If you don’t eat your vegetables, you’ll stunt your growth. Stop eating so much candy, your teeth will fall out. As kids, we roll our eyes. We know our parents HAVE to say those things. They’re parents. And we’re going to do whatever we can to push the limits and see how far we can go.
But looking back, I realized that maybe some of the things my mama told me weren’t as false as they seemed… I always thought I knew everything, but to my surprise…my mama taught me a few things.
- Someday, you’ll have kids that act just like you. I’m not sure if that was a blessing or a curse. She said it when she was proud of me. She said it when I was giving her attitude. She said it when I made her cry, and when I made her laugh. And damn it, she was right. Every time my kids test my patience, I think of the hell I put my mama through. Every time my kids make me proud, I wish there was more I could’ve done to make my mama feel that way. I do have kids, and they’re just like me.
- The world doesn’t owe you a thing. I watched over the years as my mama worked her ass off. We moved place to place to follow her job and income so that she could support us. She never asked for help from others; never requested government assistance. Just worked day in and day out to make sure we were never hungry, to give us the expensive jeans we wanted, and support anything and everything we needed (or thought we needed). So maybe she never really said those exact words, but I heard you mama…loud and clear.
- Eventually, you’ll know what love really means. I remember all the heartbreaks I had. And how every time, my mama knew exactly how to comfort me…how to pick up the pieces. She always told me how many fish were in the sea, and that someday I wouldn’t have to feel this way anymore. Some day, some man would sweep me off my feet. Throughout my teens, I always thought she was wrong. I always fell in “love.” It wasn’t until I met my husband and had a family of my own that I realized what true love really meant. Yes mama, you were right. I finally know what love means. Unconditional love.
- Being a mom isn’t as easy as it looks. Holy shit, was she right! She made it look so easy. She loved us all no matter what (me more than others, because I’m the favorite). But there have been times when I’m ready to pull my hair out that I have to remind myself that I love my children. There have been times that I’m ready to break down and cry because I’ve worked my ass off all day, and then I have to go to the store, cook dinner for everyone, bathe the kids, and do laundry when I’m finished with all of that. Being a mom is freaking hard, and to anyone who doesn’t have kids, take it from me. It’s not as easy as it looks; appreciate your mothers!
- Never let anyone stop you from going after your dreams. My mama has always been a dreamer. And I never was. I was and am the realist of the family. But I’ve watched my whole life as she’s brought her dreams to reality. I’ve watched people tell her she can’t, and that was her motivation to show them she can. That’s what I learned from my mama. People in my family have told me I was crazy; they’ve told me I wouldn’t amount to anything. Crazy…maybe. But not worth anything? Hell no. I’ll amount to everything and so much more!
This Mother’s Day, don’t just buy your mama some flowers and call it good. Make it a point to tell her that you appreciate her, in whatever way you can. Write her a letter; pick up the phone; stop by and visit. We won’t have our mamas forever, so think back to all the wonderful things your mama taught you, and just say, “Thank You.”
I love you Mama…Thank you for everything you do!