The baby doesn't know if you're doing it right or wrong, all it needs is to be loved.
- words from my own mother.
It was only recently that I began to understand everything my mom went through to raise her family in such a well-rounded, loving fashion. For years of my adolescent life I was filled with arrogance, ignorance, and a sense of self-righteousness that I think all teenagers experience as 'growing pains'. The lack of respect I had initially felt for my own parents growing up would later teach me invaluable lessons in becoming the mother I am soon to be.
My mother and grandmother were two people that, for as long as I can remember, always seemed so perfect to me. I have countless memories of playing and laughing together along with some experiences many kids could never dream of having. Did you have your own mom as your kindergarten teacher? I did. Being able to have your mom bring you through what most children remember to be as a semi-traumatic and uncomforable first "school" experience was a memory I will always treasure. Even though I broke her heart when I started to call her Mrs. Votta even at home around the dinner table, all I could think about was how in awe I was. Looking back, I realize how much she catered the entire classroom to the theme of my single favorite thing in the ENTIRE universe---- puppies. Going to school was almost too much fun! There was a real-life-sized dog house to play in and veterinary tables and tools with stuffed animal dogs to take care of. It was my dream come true. I thought my mom was the coolest. I still do.
She taught me it was perfectly okay to daydream, to make-believe, to imagine. Everything always seemed so perfect all the time, because I could make this life whatever I wanted to be. As I grew up I realized that maybe things weren't always as peachy as I had once believed, but my mom was great at hiding it. Every day she struggled she would still put on a happy face for her girls and would continue to be the strongest rock of her growing family. I've had the unfortunate experience of seeing the other side and I've seen my mom at her most vulnerable, beaten down and defeated states. Losing her own mother, her own father, and oldest sister were things none of us could have ever prepared for. I wasn't ever close enough to her at that time to be there for her. Looking back, I can see all she went through for us-- even when we didn't provide her the proper support she really needed.
I can only hope to be as good as a mother to my own child as my mom was to me. I want to show her the world is whatever she wants it to be, to take joy in the every day treasures around her. To dream. To run with the wind in her hair. To explore. I know my mom took everything she loved about my grandma and made that even better for us; she realized how much my grandmother had struggled for their family after the fact when she had already grown up, but never realized it or had thought twice about it as a child. All she knew was love.
Mother's Day goodies from the most amazing man on Earth.
One Happy Momma
I'm going to do the same for you, baby DLR. I'm going to give you everything I can, with every last molecule in my body-- even if it's not always perfect. You'll never see anything but love in this house, and one day, you can be an even better mother to your daughter than I was to you.
Happy Mother's Day to all those amazing moms that I know. And to the future ones. And every amazing woman I've had the pleasure of befriending. Carry on your own dreams and hold them close to your hearts tightly.