“Most mothers are instinctive philosophers.”Harriet Beecher Stow
Our journeys, no matter the destination, are influenced and guided by our experiences – whether good, bad, or neutral. On this Mother’s Day, I find myself reflecting on my journey, and how my experiences as a daughter and a mother have influenced, and continue to influence, my journey through life and as a writer.
There is no right or wrong way to be a mother. I have yet to find the definitive guide on this. What’s right for some won’t work for others. What truly defines someone as a good mother? I believe my mother was a good mother. She was loving, fed me well, disciplined me when needed (and sometimes when not), took me on adventures, helped me learn, and taught me her version of right and wrong. I love my mom, but our relationship was never ideal. We struggled seeing eye-to-eye on many things, each of us wishing the other would simply “get it.” It’s been ten years since she passed, and I still spend time wondering if I could have done something to improve our relationship – to break down that barrier we both hid behind.
I also believe I am a good mother, but you’ll have to ask my son his opinion on that one. I strive to ensure that our relationship is different than the one I had with my own mother so he doesn’t feel the need to drift away emotionally and complain to his future spouse about his controlling and annoying mother. I want our relationship to be open, one where we can talk about anything without judgement or criticism. My experience with my mother has played a large role in my journey with my son.
Like all other mothers and daughters, I have done my best to be the best I can be at both. And, like all other mothers and daughters, I have both succeeded and failed over and over again. But that’s part of the journey. Each experience guides us, teaches us, makes us who we are. These experiences are gifts we’ve been given to navigate the waters of life. It’s through these gifts, whether we want them or not, that we shape who we are, shape the emotions we have. Remembering the good and not so good helps guide our journeys. We can choose to forget, or we can choose to hold on tight, each choice a paving stone along the way.
I thank my mother for being a strong, intelligent woman of character. For giving me the gift of life and all the experiences which are solely mine. I thank my son for being an anchor in my life and a champion of my endeavors – always loving and brutally honest when I need it most. It makes my journey through life, and as a writer, a richer and more rewarding one.