I’ve been lucky to have many mothers in my life.
I'm not a huge fan of constructs - Mother's Day for instance. How about we celebrate those we call Mother every day? Having said that, I can't help but think of the women I consider mothers to me.
These women loved me unconditionally without expectation of return. They taught me hard lessons and gave me great advice. They showed me what was possible as a woman.
My mother, Jane, was independent, creative, and devoted to creating a tight family unit with my father. She had style like no one else and greeted every stranger like a friend. She had childlike curiosity and wonder about the world - she only read non-fiction because she was fascinated by "real" things. She gave me great advice ("I just want to tell you a few things," she'd begin whenever she got me and my sisters alone.):
- Don't write anything down you don't want the world to read (she was way ahead of her time).
- Always make your own money because you never know what's going to happen.
Her best advice was one she never said aloud but I saw her do it over and over again. She never remembered the bad stuff. Used to drive me crazy, but I realized near the end of her life that letting go of disappointment and negativity allowed her to savor every moment as if it were new.
Pudgie (her childhood nickname) raised me with Jane from the time I was born. She was strong willed, no nonsense, held my feet to the fire, and indulged me only when she had to. She loved me hard and schooled me gently. Every time I call and ask how she's doing she says, "I cannot complain." Every single time. Even though she's 98. I've started saying that too.
My mother-in-law, Laura, is endlessly curious about and supportive of everything I do. She loves that I love her son and I love that she created him. I call her almost every day because her voice is my north star and her wisdom unparalleled.
My kindergarten art teacher and I remained friends until her death some years ago. She was a source of unconditional acceptance and love - particularly during my teen years and early adulthood. She was one of the least judgmental people I've ever known.
No one person can be everything to another person all the time.
I encouraged my own daughter to have more than one "mother" she could turn to when I wasn't enough. These are mine. All of these women loved me deeply, gave me sage advice, and comforted me when I was down.
I would not be who I am without them.
Happy Mother's Day! ❤️