Mother’s Day is fast approaching, which means there will probably be a (well-deserved) wave of posts honoring the women who brought us all into this world. While I always make sure to say what I mean and mean what I say, when it comes to being openly emotive and mushy?
This is not a trait I inherited from my mom, as she openly proclaims her love for people and things at an almost disturbingly frequent rate, hugging people she just met and tearing up over a random card I might send in the mail.
I used to find this annoying, and to be honest, sometimes I still do. Perhaps it’s the fact that it’s often hard to relate to a virtue in someone else that you can’t easily conceive of in yourself.
But as an adult I’ve learned to navigate these differences and approach our relationship differently. She’ll never change who she is—loving, but stubborn as hell—and accepting our differences instead of constantly fighting against them has really been key as the years have gone by.
Which brings me to my point.
I’ve written about my mom’s disability before, but it can be summarized by saying she’s had 13 spinal surgeries, among other issues, and her neck and spine are completely fused.
Even though things weren’t “normal” with my mom when I was a kid—surgeries, braces, body casts—she made sure that everything else I knew was. I was raised with the knowledge that I was special, I was smart, I was loved.
Things haven’t become easier as time has gone on. I still worry about her on a daily basis, and I know she still worries about me. We both have our reasons to worry. But no matter what I might doubt in this world—myself, humanity, the validity of expiration dates on ChapStick—one thing I will never, ever doubt is the love that my mom has for me.
How she does it—how any parent does it—amazes me.
I would be a mess.
The thought of loving something that much, watching that little person leave my side or feel pain or hurt or sadness in any way, feeling so helpless as to how things might turn out—and doing most of this behind that “mom” mask of strength that so many moms seem to wear—all that would scare me to death.
But this isn’t about me.
It’s about my mom—every mom—who goes through these feelings of doubt that they’re doing things “right.” Doubt that their children are happy and loved, that they know they’re happy and loved, that they’re protected enough but not overly so.
Maybe it’s because I’m older now or because I hear it from friends or read it on blogs, but I never fully grasped the scope and the depth of the sacrifice you all so willing make every day, most often with laughter and love.
I thank you.
Because while I’ll never have kids of my own—my level of nurturing and dedication extends only to a (fake) houseplant—I respect the women who do, not just for what they do on a daily basis, but for who they are.
Women who worry. Women who sacrifice. Women who raise their children with the knowledge that they’re special, that they’re smart, that they’re loved and accepted—even if they’re not mushy.
I’ve never had any doubt.
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Awww, what a nice post about your mom!
Beautiful, Abby. Thank you. 🙂
Ha, I am a little embarrassed to admit that you made me tear up. The thing that they never warn you about as a parent is that there’s no break in the worrying- at first you think that once they’re done being toddlers, when they’ve learned that fire burns and that falling down stairs hurts, you can relax, just a little. Then you realize that the world is full of terrors, and while every opportunity for good exists, so does the flip side. Thank you for appreciating the insanity and glory of motherhood. Best wishes to you and your mom…
Abby, this was really, really gorgeous. Mother’s Day can be a very tricky thing for me, but this just hit all the right notes and was exactly something I needed to read this weekend. Thanks for writing it–a wonderful, Abby. xo
As a mom, I just want to say: Beautifully done, Abby! Your mother raised a good daughter.
I hope your mother sees this. 🙂
Trust me. She reads everything (except the question part of my emails, meaning I have to send the same damn thing over and over.) 😉
You should put this into a card. Your mother will tear up and then smile.
Gosh I love this and I know your mom is reading this and tearing up. This is just beautiful and right. I’m a lot like your mom, I hug impulsively, I cry easily, I say I love you all day long to ..um, everyone. Because I do.
Your mom is so lucky to have daughter like you and for my own mom(s) biological and otherwise, I am thankful for them so much.
Wonderful post. Hits me right in the feels.
You have said some very nice things about your mom and mothers in general. Thanks.
Lovely, Abby. Just lovely. Mother’s day is a day of many colored emotions for a lot of us. Mothering is a hard job. We’re pretty damn lucky there’s also a lot of joy in it, too.
Thanks Kathy. I know it’s probably a bittersweet day for a lot of women out there. Hugs to you!
This was so beautiful Abby! And left me all teary eyed!
Awww, this was so sweet and while it wasn’t mushy, I might have teared up a little. Moms are incredible, aren’t they?! I dig the Dr. Suess intro, by the way. My mom used to read that book to me.
This is beautiful, Abby. I, too, chose to never have children. It was all I could do to raise myself, a process that continues. My mom has been gone for 40 years and not a day goes by that I don’t think of her with love and tremendous gratitude.
Beautifully stated. You hit the mark! Thanks.
I thought this was a lovely post, mothers are amazing people.
‘Tearing up’ is putting it mildly. Thank you Abs, for the ‘mushiness’.I love you. 🙂
I’m late, but I think this is my favorite Mother’s Day post! So thank you!