I just want to take a moment to be thankful for my mother.
I never truly appreciated my mom to the fullest extent until I became one myself. When you don’t have children, it’s easy to say how you would raise them and what you would do in certain situations. Once you are a parent, all the rules go out the window. They don’t come with instruction manuals; all you get is parenting self-help books and the support of other parents to reassure you that, in fact, you will not go insane and ruin your children and that what you’re experiencing is normal.
Like every other parent, I spent many sleepless nights during their infancy doubting myself and silently praying for three consecutive hours of sleep. Once I had my second son, things were easier because I knew what to expect to a certain degree, and I was more relaxed and able to enjoy the experience as a result. But I realized that motherhood is tough, that it’s not all hearts and roses and unconditional love, and that you make mistakes no matter what you do and you just have to hope that things will get better.
I also spent a lot of time thinking about my mother. We had an unorthodox childhood, and there were problems and hard times and eventually my parents split up when I was in my late teens. But I remember my mom always working hard to provide for us, always putting us first, and doing everything she could to spoil us. She made the best lunches (except for the fucking raw turnip sticks and the odd onion) and all the other kids at school were jealous. She made every attempt at getting us to do things as a family. She made up nicknames and songs for each of us and sang them all the time. She loved animals and had a huge heart and she never wanted us to go without.
I got married and she never approved. And hindsight is 20/20, of course, so I completely understand why. But when I was going through my divorce, and had nowhere to live because I hated my situation so much that I walked away from everything just to get away from it, my mother was there. (Also a huge shout out to my dear friend Pam and her amazing parents Bob and Sue–who took me in for two months immediately after I left). My mom and her husband put me up in their empty home in Crystal Beach for basically nothing, just to help me get back on my feet. They got me a car, they helped me when the car broke down a million times, and they even helped me with vet bills when my dog was diagnosed with cancer and had to be medicated and eventually put to sleep. They gave me a retainer for my lawyer so I could try to get my kids back! They filled my house with furniture when they eventually rented that house out. They have NEVER denied me support and if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be where I am today.
My mom is a very special woman. She has done everything she could to be there for all three of us whenever we needed her. She is full of love and generosity and eccentricity and fun. She did the absolute best that she could for us, within her means. She deserves to be commended for that. I can only hope that my kids will view me this way one day when they are older, and that I will be able to help them the same way if they ever need me.
We are all getting older and it is frightening to think that time is so precious. I need her to know how much I love her, how grateful I am for her existence, her guidance, her support, her love. She means the world to me and I can never repay her for all that she has done for me. And my stepfather, too. What an amazing man, with such a huge heart. Thank you, thank you so much for loving me. At this moment in time, I have never been more content or genuinely happy, and I have you guys to thank for that. Much love xoxox.
(Shout out to my dad and his girlfriend as well, although they may never read this, because they have also helped me out in so many ways and I can never thank them enough for what they’ve done for me.)