I believe in my mother. My belief in my mother didn’t come quickly. It was different with my father, whom I have always worshipped, and whose abilities were never questioned. But this journey towards my mother has been so filled with love and learning, about myself, and about her, that it is almost more special.
What is it? It’s my mother’s constancy, her steadfast love. 15 years ago, I would not have said anything like this. Or I would have said something obnoxious and hurtful like, I believe that my mother isn’t there for me, that she doesn’t love me as much as she should, that she always disappoints me. Now my fear is that I disappoint her.
My mother is innately fair, endlessly giving, unquestioningly loving, and limitlessly patient with me. She is also almost always right. Even when she isn’t being any of those things, when I’m frustrated and depressed and looking for someone to take all that out on. Even when we play out our familiar script of “I just wanted someone to talk to,” and she says, “I don’t know what you want me to say.” She still sits there and takes it.
My belief in my mother comes from so many things — I marvel at what my mother can do, the effect that she has on people. Little things, big things, that I never noticed, and certainly didn’t appreciate. She made real meals every night of the week. She can fix and find and organize the heck out of anything. She helps people who need her. Everyone loves my mother. My brother and I make fun of her because she’s always trying to be funny, but she does it because she wants people to feel at ease, to show them that she cares.
My mother went halfway around the world looking for me. She convinced my father that it would be a good idea to adopt me. She let me be mean and catty and sneaky; she let me flounder through school; she supported me in my sometimes aimless travels and search for direction. I repaid her indulgence by ignoring her for weeks and months, by always pushing for more, more, more — punishing her by questioning her relationship with me, and worse, with my father. But even then, I think there was a little voice that I was ignoring saying that because I believe in my mother, I could get away with such behavior. It’s hard to admit that your mother is right.
My belief in my mother is like a security blanket. She made me one when I was 6 or 7, even though she was furious that I had just lost the one she’d warned me I would. I still have that blanket, but more importantly, I still have my mother. One of the nicest things my husband has ever said to me is that I am exactly like my mother. I hope one day to merit my children having the same belief in me.
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