Saturday, May 7, 2011

It's Complicated

I love my mother, but truth is we’ve always had a tumultuous relationship. Someday I’m going to create a series of Mother’s Day cards for people like me, with verses like “Happy Mother’s Day - after years of therapy still thinking of you! “.

Philip Larkin probably said it best in the following poem:

This Be the Verse

They fuck you up, your mum and dad.

They may not mean to, but they do.

They fill you with the faults they had

And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn

By fools in old-style hats and coats,

Who half the time were soppy-stern

And half at one another's throats.

Man hands on misery to man.

It deepens like a coastal shelf.

Get out as early as you can,

And don't have any kids yourself.

My grandmother used to say that if we are lucky, life gives us what we need, not what we want. Every time I look at my beautiful son and pugs I am reminded of those wise words. Having come from a long history of family drama and angst, having kids wasn’t really part of my life plan. I am so very thankful that the great spirit had other ideas for me.

Being a mother has been the most rewarding experience of my life, teaching me how to love without condition, live without fear, and giving me a deeper appreciation for my own mother.

In a strange way being a mother has allowed me to mother myself - and heal so many of those old wounds. Whenever I feel down or troubled by life, I pull out this old black and white photo of myself as a little girl, and I promise to always love and protect her.