Someone asked me what made my mother so awesome. There are certainly things I can list.
Some of her most admiral characteristics:
1. She never pretended to know something she didn’t.
2. She had a great sense of humor when it came to her “personal quirks.”
3. She wanted to help everyone and anyone even if it wasn’t reciprocated.
4. She was generous. Even when we had very little, people were welcome in our home. When we had more, she gave more.
5. She never stopped being a student of life.
My mother wasn’t a good mother because of those things. She had flaws just like anyone else. Not to mention she was incredibly hard on us. She loved me but dare I cross her, oh the terror. She wouldn’t yell or scream. She would give me that look of disappointment. The older I got, the more she perfected her look of disappointment and added just walking away. Looking back yelling and screaming is so much easier. Establishing a construct to represent disappointment and having the strength to walk away when her motherly instincts probably told her to lock me in the basement until I learned my lesson took a great deal of strength and conviction.
She knew I needed to go out to the world to learn those lessons for myself. Every time I find myself in a “Damn it, my mother was so right about that” I laugh. It’s certainly something we’d joke about today. I look back to those horribly chaotic and confusing years in between leaving home and building my own life with a hand to my sunken head. But eh, c’est la vie.
The fact that I am still learning lessons my mother taught me years after her lessons stopped is a testament to her integrity. That body of work is the reason she was such a great mother. One day of great mothering is meaningless without the consistent year after year track record. I give her a 10 out of 10.