Personally, I think it is quite naturally, that the days surrounding Mother's Day one is thinking more deeply about the relationship with their mother. Hell, that's the intent of the whole holiday, isn't it? Tons of emotional Mother's Day commercials lure us in to buy some"thing", that will show our mother's how much we care. Apparently, nothing says "I love you Mom" like a heart shaped necklace, some chocolates, some flowers. But what is really behind the phrase "I love you Mom"?
I did some soul searching and found out this:
When I was born, I had the immediate, instinctive, my-life-depends on you love, that every baby feels towards their mother. Our survival, literally depends on the love and connection to our mothers. Our physical and just as important, our emotional survival.
My childhood memories are filled with loving memories of my mother. They are all about fun trips to the zoo, my first beach vacation to Italy, holiday cheer at Christmas, sunny days at the pool and snowy days out sledding. The love for my mother was one of deep trust and adventure. She was my source for all things fun, educational and above all, the safety net I could land in, whenever I tripped (both literally and figuratively) in life.
Then, I grew into a teenager and my mother was there to support me through the emotional ups and downs. She endured my moods and dried my tears in the times of love sickness, love sickness, and more love sickness. Honestly, I think well into my early twenties, the love for my mother, was of a rebellious kind. Deep down, the love was always strong, but on the surface, the waves of my emotions were sometimes carrying anger, defiance and presumptuousness.
In my mid-twenties, right around the time I got married, a new feeling of love set in. The shocking, hard-to-admit love that says "OMG, she was right about everything". A revelation, really. However, because I was honest enough to myself, I could welcome this notion openly and gratefully, rather than shamefully.
Now, that I am approaching my thirties, a new love has knocked on my door. The love for my mother, that wants me to draw in close around her and be with her. While my teenage years gave me wings, and my twenties taught me how to fly, my thirties (I have a feeling) are taking me back to my roots. Suddenly, I see my mother for the skillful woman that she is and I am eager to pick up skills like knitting, sewing, canning and gardening. Through my father's sickness, I experienced her bare strength. Could I be as strong if I had to be? One can only hope. I witnessed her tender love for my father, the protective love for us daughters, the proud love for her grandchildren and I admire all the love she has to give. For the first time, alongside the love for my mother, I am feeling fear, too. Fear, that one day, I will have to say goodbye to her, too.
One thing though, has completely changed the "love" for my mother. It has deepened my connection with her, as well as made her opinions more important in my eyes. Her advice has never been more dear to me. Ultimately, it is the one thing that finally made me truly understand her: becoming a mother.