growing up, my mom embodied all there was to being a mom. she was comfort, love, food, protection, intelligence, and money. as i grew, i figured out she had needs too--for me to behave in public, not swear, be modest, and basically act like a baptist. i didn't come to those realizations by force, i just would never want to embarrass my mom. mom never tried to embarrass me either, though it happened naturally sometimes as it does with all kids i guess. she taught me to be a good listener by never interrupting me, a quality i've adopted and value highly. she never made me responsible for her happiness, nor did i ever worry about her mental health. she can take care of herself, though i do have the power to make her sad or disappointed, i'm not the pillar of her self esteem.
this thanksgiving, i was not with my mom, but i had the chance to observe two of my dear friends with their moms. seeing what traits they've taken from their moms, and how their personalities were shaped by their interactions through the years shed light on the much discussed, often painful mother-child relationship. some moms allow wildness, but require emotional support; some moms don't let you get a word in unless you interrupt, some moms can hang out with your friends, and some would never want to. how my friends and i interact can be directly traced to how we were treated by our mothers.
today i thank my mother for being strong, solid, and true to her beliefs. even though our lifestyles are fairly divergent, i have the utmost respect for her and i hope i've inherited her integrity.
Noatak river paddle day 14: Noatak village
1 month ago