I’ve been a mother for over thirty years now and a daughter for nearly twice that. On Mother’s Day, I found myself contemplating the juxtaposition of being a child and a mother.
When you were a child, you often do things your mother doesn’t like or makes it challenging for her to be your mother.
And as a mother, your child does things that leave you hoping their child does the same to them—just like your mother probably said about you. It’s a cycle.
I often write about how difficult growing up is, but for a mother, growing a child up is even more difficult. As a child you have to go through many trials and tribulations, some of which are beyond your control, but for most of which, you are in the driver’s seat.
However, as a parent, from birth through and past adulthood, a mother is a mere passenger in their child’s journey. Sometimes you can give directions. At times you’re told to shut up. And mostly you just have to let them drive. And if anyone has ever tried to teach their child how to drive, this fact is painfully evident.
Children, whether youth or adult need to learn and make mistakes on their own. You hope the lessons are not too severe, but you must accept the truthful fact that you not in control. You must sit back and hope that everything you’ve taught them and everything they learned by your actions and deeds permeates not only their lives, but what they do and say.
And if you’re blessed once again, your child will make you a grandmother, which is equally enjoyable and terrifying. You can be frightened for them, since they’re in charge of another life and must learn from the same experiences you did. At the same time, you get to sit back watch and wish they suffer some of the minor bumps and equally hope the ride is smooth for them. Other than the joy of grandchildren, though, the best reward is when they turn to you and say you were right.