Well…isn’t that the truth!? Am I right, moms? As my own daughter gets older ( 8 in August!) and tests her boundaries, with little eye rolls, sassy hands on her hips, the dreaded foot stamping…I realize, my mom was right about everything! I love my little girl more than anything in the world, but when she gets into “that mood”, I look at her much the way Victor Frankenstein looked at his creation, as in “ What have I created here!?” And then I look at my mother, who is smiling in a way that lets me know she is remembering the past and seeing she and I at that same time period. Suddenly I realize; I have a mini-me and what I am putting up with is just what I put my mother through a little over 35 years ago.
Moms of teenage girls…our 7th– 11th grade moms here at SDA…I know you will tell me it gets worse before it gets better! Moms of our 12th grade girls, awaiting the moment in August where your little girl, the one you sent to kindergarten with ribbons in her hair and a cutesy lunch box and back pack goes off to college, I know you will tell me it goes too fast, enjoy every minute of it. I think my own mom would tell me an honest mix of both of those statements: Yes, it goes too fast, but no, you are NOT going to enjoy every minute of it. Goodness knows, I am sure there were many moments in the past 42 years that my mother did not particularly enjoy where I was concerned, but looking back now all I can remember is that she has ALWAYS been there. We are each other’s constant contact, line of support, and best friend- there is nothing that happens in my life, good or bad, that I do not want to talk over with my mother.
It is hard, even now as I write this to fully capture in words all that my mother has brought to my life and all she continues to bring to my life every day. I know for a fact, I would not be sitting in this office at Saint Dominic Academy if it were not for her constant guidance, influence and support. I consider myself a strong woman. However, I also know that I would be lost without the daily grace and love that my mother brings to my life.
Mothers who are reading this, I would imagine that many of you feel the same way about your own mothers. Whether you are still lucky enough to have your mother with your, or whether this coming Sunday, you will spend some quiet time with loving memories of your mother, you know the love I am talking about that exists between a mother and daughter. I know you cherish it just as dearly as I do.
Daughters of SDA, you may yet be too young to understand that the bond you have with your mother is a bond that will not exist with anyone else…until you are blessed with a child of your own. So for now, just trust me when I tell you, as both a mom and a daughter… your mother is your first line of defense, your biggest cheerleader, and the woman who will shape the way you mother your own child one day in the future. Even when you fight with your mothers, (and, of course you will) and even when they fight back (and of course…they will!), there are no words strong enough to capture the love your mother carries within her heart for you. It is all encompassing, it is infinite and it is yours whenever you need it most. I know that, as a mother, because I learned it from my mother.
Motherhood is a thankless job at times, but it is also the best job in the world. Every one of us mothers know…that the true definition of mother is this: one who gives of her heart daily without expecting to or wanting to be thanked. As we head into Mother’s Day this coming weekend, I do think that all of us daughters take a moment to look our mothers in the eye and say thank you for all they do for us and for how much they love us.
Even then, it is not enough, but daughters, it is the best we can do. And so, to my own mother, a very public thank you: Mom, if I can be half as good a mother to Abigail as you are to me, then I will be a great mother. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for being my first and best friend. I love you!
And to all of our SDA mothers, who wipe away tears after a heartbreak and who listen to the stories of teenage drama, and who find that extra fund to make her little girl’s dress or shoe or whatever dreams come true, I thank you. Thank you for raising such beautiful young women, each day they walk the halls of SDA they are a testament to how wonderful each of you are. And I wish you the happiest of Mother’s Days because now, as a mother myself, I truly understand how much you deserve it!