Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Mother's Promise

My children are eleven and ten.  We're standing on the threshold of the teenage years, and a part of me is scared to death.  But it will pass quickly.  Too quickly.  Like our first decade together.  One day, soon, they'll be grown and moved on to live their independent lives.  I wonder how they'll look back on their childhoods?

What I want my children to remember about me as a mother:

That my face lit up each time they entered a room.

That putting their own well-being above my own was a natural reaction and not a choice I felt I had to make.

That I believed in my heart they chose me as their mother, and that I honored that choice every day.

That I was only human and made mistakes, but I understood the importance of admitting my errors and asking for forgiveness.

That I encouraged them to live their own lives, not a life I wished for them.

That I appreciated self-expression in any way it manifested itself in my children.

That I needed my own time, not because I was selfish, but because giving that to myself made me a more centered person and a better parent.

That we laughed A LOT.

That it was okay for us to get mad at each other, healthy even.  But that I was never too proud to make the first move toward reconciliation.

That I was always the last to release a hug.

That I looked them in the eye and said "I love you" every single day.

That I believed kindness and generosity toward others were high priorities in life.

That I wasn't afraid they'd stop loving me if I answered "no."  And if my answer was "no," there was a reason behind it.  I never said "no" because I didn't want them to have fun, or to punish them unfairly.

That I recognized their talents and encouraged their interests (even if I didn't find those things interesting).

That school mattered.  If they got a "C" when they worked their hardest, then I applauded their "C."  If they got a "C" when I knew they could have done better, I came down hard on them.

That I demanded success from them, so they would learn to demand success from themselves.

That I thought they were the coolest people on the planet.

And above all else, I want my kids to always remember how much I love them.  From the day I learned I'd conceived, to the day they were born, beyond the day I die.  I will always, always love them.

Here's to being the best mothers we can be.
Happy Mother's Day, everyone!