And other triggers.
I was all set to write a flowery Mother’s day something. An ode to my mom. Something about how she loved like no other and took care of everyone like no other and was simply like no other. Which, by the way, would be a true story.
But, the other day, a good friend texted a couple of us. She has two kids, like a lot of us. Two kids at home, who she is attempting to homeschool, like a lot of us. And she was feeling like shit. Like she was irrevocably messing up her older son (a 3rd-grader) by being too hard on him. It reminded her of the way her own dad was hard on her. Ugh, family trauma. It never really leaves us.
I did what I do - I tried to diffuse and bring some levity and maybe make her feel a tiny bit better - and I told her not to worry. Regardless of what we do, we are ALL going to mess up our kids in some way.
And I thought of my mom. My tough as nails, no boundaries for what she would do for us mom. She took the weight of the world on for us. And she was everything for us - mom, dad, friend, protector. Maybe she thought she would always be there. Most likely, she just did it all because she didn’t know how NOT to.
But as good as she was, as strong as she was, as wise as she was - when she left, we found ourselves with a huge hole in our lives. And we didn’t have the tools to fill that hole. We never needed those tools. But, maybe if she hadn’t been everything to us, we would have filled that toolbox a little earlier on. So yea, that everything to everyone mom? Even she messed us up in a way.
I started watching The Morning Show a few days ago and I fell hard. And this scene below between Jennifer Aniston and her on-screen daughter just sort of solidified all of this for me. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
To all the moms out there (myself included): Give those kids as many hugs and kisses as they’ll let you and nod your head a lot when they’re talking to you. Beyond that, I don’t have the answers but I do know this: we’re all doing ok. On this Mother’s Day, my wish for you (and for me) is some space (to yourself), some grace (to let sh&t go), and lots of love.