I can’t remember a time when I didn’t know I wanted to be a “Mommy.” While my sister asked for cowboy hats and toy guns I only wanted to wear my mother’s high heels and play with dolls.
I would not only be a mommy but I would be a perfect mommy. I would do all the right things thereby producing flawless children. I noted every error my own mother made over the years and vowed how I would approach that particular issue differently when it was my turn.
I would always believe my children because they wouldn’t lie thanks to my exceptional maternal gifts. I would trust them and give them reasonable freedom when they were teenagers because, having raised them so perfectly, they would not want to disappoint me and would make the best choices or ask me or their father (whoever he turned out to be) for guidance.
I would love my kids with such intensity that they would never feel insecure, lonely, or sad. I was sure books would be written about my parenting abilities and my amazing children. Oprah would have me on her show and I’d fill the entire hour answering “How to Be a Great Mom” questions from less capable audience members.
OK, I did my best.
Oprah hasn’t called but I swear I did my part. I followed all the “Awesome Parenting” rules so any imperfections are not my fault.
Even in cooking you can add all the right ingredients, follow the recipe to the letter and still not end up with exactly what you expected. The thing is, you do get a unique version of that recipe that makes it yours and special.
Sometimes I forget that my own mother must love me as intensely as I love my own kids and that surprises me a little. I must have disappointed her a bit over the years. Sorry Mom.
Then again, mothers forgive. They can’t help it. Some weird, mental “I changed your diapers” thing forces them to forgive every miserable event and hurtful word ever uttered.
I once told my daughter Angela that the most important thing I could have accomplished in my life was to have been a good mother.
She looked at me in her way (understanding yet impatient) and said, “You did that, Mom. Time to move on to something else now.”
Smart ass kid.