Saturday, July 2, 2016

(happy oh happy)

today is my mom's birthday!

if you know her, and many of you do, you know that my mom is a pretty special woman.

of course she is not perfect (in fact, she'd be the first the declare her self-deprecating way she might say that a little too quickly), but she is a great mom. i still learn from watching her; one of the things she keeps modeling for me is that no matter how old you are, it's important to be open to what those around you may be teaching you. 

my firstborn is a lot like i was at her age, and so as her parent, i realize some of what my mom was dealing with when she was raising me. i get these flashes of deja vu when my girls --especially #1-- say or do something and it's because i am recalling interactions i had with my mom when i was my girls' ages. parenting forces me to now love my children because my own mom loved chatty, creative, opinionated, headstrong, often complaining me. plus my parents had FOUR of us, all very unique and needing different expressions of love. it's no joke this parenting gig! i am usually struggling through the finish line of each day with just two kids! 

my mom is still quick to tell me ways that she failed or fell short as a parent, and of course there are ways she could have been a better mom. there are about 40 ways every single day i could be a better mom too, but her willingness to own that makes it easier for me to do the same with my daughters in the moment. 

i've always loved the painter mary cassatt. (i could write an entire post about that, but for now suffice it to say she was a woman artist in a world of male artists.) her tender portraits of mothers and her children capture such throwaway moments- the kind that just last for a minute or two but that are the bedrock of a relationship. now we have phones full of snapshots and selfies of these moments, but when she was painting, she was depicting sacred feminine spaces that were rarely the subjects of fine art. this past june i went to the met in new york, and loved this painting of cassatt's:
it reminds me of my mom, and how i used to climb up on her lap to snuggle or be comforted, how my own children now do the same, and how even as an adult my mom is a safe place for me. 

so on her birthday i say 

thank you, mom for letting me put my small hand in yours
for letting my climb up on your lap
for teaching me how to have faith when all seems like darkness
for showing me what it means to love well

i hope we celebrate (at least) 30 more of your birthdays! 

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