Sunday, May 8, 2011

M is for Mistakes

When you are getting ready to be a Mother, people begin to offer advice to help you avoid pitfalls. However, one of the things that no one teaches you when you go to Lamaze Class, to prepare for the new journey that lies just ahead of you, is how you are going to deal with the mistakes that you will make. And you will make mistakes. The mistakes that I have made with my children are one of the things that I have struggled to forgive myself for. Regret is wonderful when it steers us along to make better choices, but it can become debilitating if anguish begins to loom large. But, imperfection is a fact, and so the mistakes still appear. 
There is no perfect mother, just as their is no perfect child. But, interestingly, as moms we have greater aptitude at forgiving our children for the mistakes that they make than we have for forgiving ourselves. I look at the lessons my children have learned, through the mistakes that they have made and --that's what I see, the lesson. And, then it occurs to me, that's how my Mother sees me. A life full of lessons, not a woman defined by mistakes. So, as the child of my Mother, I get to experience what I give to my children. Mercy and grace. 
The truth is, you never know how much your own Mother loved you, until you become one yourself.
Mothers, we need not be defined by the mistakes that we've made. Because, a long time ago for us, but what feels like a blink and breath to our Mothers, we were the child. 
My own Mother made a "mistake", and I am so thankful she did.  
In the mid 1960's my Mother was busy with her toddler son and his new infant brother, when she realized she was pregnant again
Unplanned, an accident? 
A mistake? 
A surprise. 
And, so I was born just the year after my brother.  
Perhaps, she sees me as a prize.

And, I'm thankful in turn, that I followed her lead. 
In the mid 1990's I was busy with two preschoolers and their new infant sister, when I realized I was pregnant again
Unplanned, an accident? 
A mistake? 
A surprise. 
And, so my youngest was born just the year after his sister. 
Always a prize.
On Mother's Day, we celebrate Mom, because, let's face it, she is the one who celebrates us everyday.