I got the sweetest card in the mail this week for Mother's Day from my mother - and on the inside, she wrote that she was proud of me. It made me melt a little inside, and I almost felt that I might cry.
My mother and I haven't always had the easiest relationship. In fact, during my teenage and college years, it was really downright bad. Not because she was a bad mother or because I was a bad daughter, I'd just been such a good kid for so long, I needed to be bad and rebellious for a bit to get it out of my system. Since it had been stifled for so long, my rebellion was kind of severe. I snuck out of the house. I drank. I partied. I dated a guy 9 years older than me behind my parents' back for almost two years before I finally confessed about the relationship.
I smoked behind my parents' backs, until they caught me smoking at my college graduation. You can see it in their faces in the pictures from that day, how disappointed they were, my mother especially. It was kind of hypocritical, given that both my parents were smokers, but in a way, I understood that they wanted more for me. They always had such high expectations for me.
When my father died five years ago, I had to learn to get along with my mother. She was all I had left. My father was always the go-between, the mediator. Now that I'm adult enough to admit this, I was always (and still am) too much like my mother, and often that led to friction between us, and Dad always tried to buffer us from each other. Without him around, we butted heads a lot, but ultimately we forged a new relationship, an adult relationship. When I got married, I didn't feel as annoyed by my mother as I remember feeling as a teenager. I appreciated (most of the time) her input, her advice. Now, as a mother, I actively seek her input and her advice, even if I sometimes do the exact opposite. And her approval of me as a mother means the world to me. While I didn't always appreciate her at the time, I know she was a very good mother to me, and she taught me so very much. I was lucky to have her as my mom, and now that I'm mature enough to realize it, I try to tell her that as often as I can.
So, make sure your moms know how much you appreciate them this Mother's Day. This is the one day a year to make sure to thank her for whatever she's done to make you who you are today (though we should all do that probably much more often than we do). Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there!