Thinking back, I wonder if I was a dutiful mother or a loving mother. Given a choice, I would pick being a loving mother. But that’s not what I was. I was a mother who made sure the sheets were changed and my kids were dressed nicely and dinner was served at 5:00 and hair was cut and combed and that the laundry was done and the house clean.
But I would have taken a bullet for any one of my 3 kids. I loved them so much! Even when they were fighting or on the floor having a fit, I loved them. They were my reason to get up in the morning and make sure they ate breakfast. My reason to keep the house sparkling and hang their drawings on the refrigerator. My reason to go on living when money was tight or I was lonely because my husband was gone all the time or I had the flu. But I was unable to show my love. I don’t remember holding them or kissing them or telling them that I loved them. My own mother had not done that with me, she was a devout Christian and her only answer to me, when I needed help, was to take it to the Lord in prayer. I don’t recall that she ever even touched me. But still, is that a good excuse? Why was I so stiff with my kids, when I knew better?
Now, 50 years later, I have two kids who show their love to me in many ways. I feel that I am unbelievably fortunate to have their love, given that I didn’t show my love to them when they were growing up. I have one child who doesn’t love me, who is estranged from me, but two out of three isn’t bad.
I feel lucky, given the type of Mom I was.
© 2014 Just Lynne - 3/26/14