Sunday, May 11, 2008

happy mother's day!

happy mother's day to all you incredible moms out there.

i've been thinking a lot lately (in anticipation of mother's day) of what my mom taught me about how to be a good mother.

here are some of the things that made my mom a spectatular mom:
  • amazing listening skills. my mom could listen to ANY story i told her, from thrilling to boring. she always made me feel heard.
  • remembering. my mom always remembered the stories i told her, and would ask me follow up questions the next time we spoke. this made me feel very important!
  • she always knew who my friends were, and why i loved them. this was a great way for mom to know more about me, my values, and what i might be up to on any given saturday night. she also taught me through her actions the value of good friends.
  • my mom always let me know how proud she was of me. this made me feel very confident and self assured.
  • trust. my mom allowed me to do insane things because she knew she had raised me right and even if i found myself in a jam, i'd figure out a way to get out of it. my mom trusted me even when it pained her - even when she was scared to death. i think her deeply faithful nature helped here. especially when i declared in my junior year of high school that i was going to zimbabwe.
  • leading by example. my mom never sat me down and said, "it's important to find a way to work towards justice in our world." she just did it, and i learned from her example.
  • ritual and tradition. holidays and weekends were special. mom knew how to make ritual and do tradition - with food, with music, with decorations...
  • being her own person. although mom was incredibly proud of her children, and talked about us at length whenever she got the chance even to strangers, she also had her own life. she had her own friends, her own interests, her own dreams, her own life.
here's to moms -- biological and chosen.

the line in this poem about "risk[ing] my significance" makes me think of the way my mom always put me first and gave endlessly of herself.

I will not live an unlived life.
I will not live in fear,
of falling or catching fire.
I choose to inhabit my days,
to allow my living to open me,
to make me less afraid,
more accessible;
to loosen my heart
until it becomes a wing,
a torch, a promise.
I choose to risk my significance,
to live so that which came to me as seed
goes to the next as blossom,
and that which came to me as bloosom,
goes on as fruit.

Dawna Markova

1 comment:

Steve said...

"she always knew who my friends were, and why i loved them. this was a great way for mom to know more about me, my values, and what i might be up to on any given saturday night. she also taught me through her actions the value of good friends."

damn. that's a powerful one. i never really thought about it that way before... but you can learn a good deal about people by trying to learn why they like their friends.