Member when I was this big? I don't, but Mom does. Photo via Melgar52 on Flickr.
So I have this theory about the mom/daughter relationship dynamic: it can be a challenge, but because it teaches us to communicate better, love unconditionally, and listen fully, it can be one of the most rewarding connections you build in a lifetime.
Mom: she's the one who used to set out your folded and fresh-smelling clothes after the laundry finished late and you were already in bed. Your mum: the author behind countless brown-bag lunch love notes, email reminders to keep you on track, and sentimental Hallmark cards for every occaision. She bought you a box of chocolates every Valentine's, even the ones when you didn't have a real date planned or the ones where you were thousands of miles away at college. Moma: the one who slips gas and grocery money into your pockets when you didn't even ask. The forgiver of offenses large and small: the chores you didn't finish, the lies you've been hiding, the emotional burdens you've been carrying for way too long. Momma: she's been there from the start. She carried you around in her tummy, and there's no getting past that sort of bond.
I'll admit it -- sometimes my mom and I disagree, or attempt (unsuccessfully) to read each others' minds, which can lead to confusion or little squabbles and hurt feelings. But hands down, she reads me like a book. She knows when something's up.
And it hurts her more than anything not to be there for me when she does.
Now there just aren't many people in life like that!
My mom's helped me through thick and thin: growing up in two households, getting through the daily battle that is high school, transitioning to college, preparing for my first snowy winter, dealing with the ups and downs of a life lived half a country away from your family, surviving anxiety and personal breakdowns, recovering from restlessness, planning trips, and remembering my faith through it all.
Recently she has earned gold medals in wedding preparation, working from home, caring for the two best pups in the world, playing with her grandson, loving her kids no matter what, and putting her family first. Always. Oh, and I almost forgot: singing superior soprano choir parts! Lovely. (Note: no, unfortunately, I didn't inherit my mom's singing voice. Or her flawless, youthful, glowing skin (Sister got that one!)...although I did manage to pick up her ability to tan extremely quickly. Yeah!)
I'm posting about her here because she's a key part of my recent series on people in my life outside the hot room that I'm trying to consciously appreciate more. Last week I posted about my sis and our twinship, and no doubt these are the two most important ladies in my life.
The difference with mom? She's my biggest role model, faith mentor, and source of unreserved support and love. In my family -- and I'm sure my siblings would agree wholeheartedly -- there is an unspoken truth that has always remained true: if you've got something you're struggling with, Mom will be there for you. Even if it hurts at first. Even if it takes awhile. Even if the cost is high, and the stakes higher.
She just loves you no matter what, no questions asked. You can trust her and you never have to worry that she trusts you more. Her love will continue to surprise you, outlast the circumstances, give you more than you thought you could handle. And chances are, it will turn out that you needed it all along and she just knew it before you could realize.
Who in your life outside the hot room should you be consciously appreciating more?
It's easy to be thankful for those in your life that show up a couple times a week, or who you know vaguely, but what about your immediate family-- those whose flaws and weaknesses you are quite familiar with? When is the last time you actively thanked them for your relationship?
Here I am, Moma. I miss you like crazy and I can't WAIT for a few weeks from now when we get to catch up in person. I love you with my whole heart and I am so, so grateful that back in the day you braved Bikram's torture chamber with me! You gave me the inspiration to try it, stick with it, and keep growing. Hmmm, sounds a bit like what you've given me in life all along, huh? Love you, Mom, and see you soon!