Growing up, I was haunted by the words, “You remind me of your mother”. As a child struggling to find my own identity and place in this world, the last thing I wanted was to be compared to the woman who refused me cookies after 7 pm and hovered over my shoulder to keep a close eye on my destructive self. In my wildly immature mind, my mother wanted to sabotage my life and lead me down a future path of religion, knitting, and joining a convent.
I grew up under the impression that my mother loved me the least; after all, I was an ADD ridden firecracker who talked a mile a minute and got herself into any trouble she could find. Truthfully speaking, I would hate me, too. However, you embraced me for every quirk, flaw, and botched DIY hair cut because you knew I was meant for something greater. You knew that the clueless 12-year-old that stuck gum behind her ear to “save it for later” and subsequently lost a good chunk and 5 inches off her luscious locks was meant for more than just a funny story to reminisce on. You believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself, and that is a gift I can never repay you for. You gave me the confidence I have struggled to find throughout my life. No matter what the question, you are always somewhere in the answer, whether it be a call for help or your foot to kick me in the ass when I need it (which is too damn much!).
I never wanted to be a mother, but not for reasons that you’d assume. Yes, I’m a selfish person who requires far too much attention and snacks, essentially an overgrown child all on my own. Yet, my fear of motherhood doesn’t stem from possessing those qualities, but derives form the fear of not meeting yours. I could never fill my mother’s shoes.
I could never pull an all-nighter because my twins daughters were sick, prompting me to routinely switch out between throw up buckets, chicken noodle soup, and warm snuggles even in the depths of the night. I could never put my sanity on hold because my rambunctious daughter stuck a seed in her nose TWICE just to make sure it was really stuck the first time. My heart would ache at the thought of giving up the last bowl of ice cream to my kids so they can enjoy a cold treat before bed and I could do my best to indulge in a disappointing Fig Newton bar. You were the epitome of selfless, giving up your perfect body, beautiful sleep schedule, and stress free life all to have your 6-year-old shove beans up her nose and jam a Q-Tip into her ear. Are you starting to realize you didn’t give birth to the next Madame Curie?
But, despite my mortifying slip ups and acquired taste of a personality, you did your best to make sure I knew I wasn’t another face in the crowd. Stupidity and success can potentially go hand in hand, and your profound love and endless support has ensured that my voice will never be unheard. I will never fall on deaf ears because, if all else fails, I have my mother.
Thank you for the home cooked dinners, boy bashing talks, horrendous jokes, and routine beatings. Please stop raising the motherhood bar too high so I can at least have a chance at being “The World’s Okayest Mom”. Germany should have never let you out of the country, because I’m never letting you go back. Ich liebe dich.
Happy Mother’s Day.