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Hindsight of a Mother's Love

Hindsight: the recognition of the possibilities or realities of a situation, but only after its occurrence has passed. It is only after raising my children and having them begin families of their own that I am able to picture my relationship with my own mother more clearly. She wasn’t perfect, but neither was I, not as a child and not as a mom. Yet that didn’t stop me, as a child or young adult, from judging my mom and allowing disagreements, misunderstandings, and countless unknown factors to shape my opinion of her. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I didn’t love her, I do love you Mom, but there were times that I didn’t like her very much. I didn’t understand her motives and laid blame accordingly. Sometimes she was justified in her stance, sometimes she wasn’t.

There may even be some things that she regrets or wishes she could change. I know I do. Especially with my first stepson, Chris. If I could go back and make different choices now, I would not hesitate one second to do things differently. I would let him go to movies with friends and go to school dances and participate in more sports. Making decisions for him based on how I was raised was poor reasoning on my part, especially considering that I didn’t understand or even like many of the rules we had to live by. My only defense is that how I was raised was so drilled into me that I thought I had to follow suit if I wanted to be a good mom or stepmom. I didn’t know any better until he was grown. I’m sorry, Chris. But I did what I did and said what I said because I thought it was the “right” way to love him. Afterall, it was how I was loved.

The bottom line is that, at least in most cases, a mom’s decisions about and for her children are always made out of love. I know that now. Mom, I know you love me and always meant the best for me. I know that the one thing a mom wants from her grown children is for them to overlook the parts of life that were imperfect and love her anyway. Mom, I’m sorry for the times I let my unfair judgements prevent a closer relationship with you. Call and check in with her once and a while. I’m sorry, Mom, that I let life get too busy to call sometimes. Ask questions about your job or relationships or your children.

Let me still be a part of your lives, even though you are grown and on your own. No, I don’t have to tag along for every event, nor do I need to know every decision you make. Just make time in your busy adult lives to think about me. If there are things you can’t overlook, talk to me about anything from the past that you disagreed with or don’t understand. I probably have answers.

But more than anything, as I look back at more than twenty-five years of being a mom, I love all of you (Chris, Chloe, Jacob, David, and Ethan) more than I could ever express and I’m so proud of the adults you have become. As I look back at nearly fifty years of being a daughter, thank you, Mom, for loving me so deeply. I know things weren’t always perfect. No life is perfect. But I have no doubt there was love. There will always be love.

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