Saturday, August 05, 2006

My Mom

Recently I was watching re-runs of an old TV show where the main character, a grown woman with her own child, lives in her mother's house after her divorce. Many of the most entertaining and moving scenes happen when the mother and daughter are together. I watch this grown woman, a mother herself, engage in this life enriching relationship with her mother, who is loving, wise if a bit stubborn and bossy, and something is stirred inside me. I miss my mom.

There are probably MANY adults out there who live far away from their mothers who feel this way, but I'm different. You see, I miss the mom I never had. As I have mentioned in earlier posts, my parents were not the way God intended parents to be. There was abuse, there was lack limits, lack of love, true, sacrificial love, the kind a parent is SUPPOSED to have for their children. Not the self-seeking love based on the parents' own needs and insecurities.

My mother grew up in some ways abused as well, and it is my opinion that her emotional growth was stunted at an early age, and that is probably why when she married and had her own children, she wasn't quite able to really LOVE someone, unless that someone in some way performed a specific role in her life, be it make her feel important, or capable, or cared for, etc.
Most her relationships were based on what SHE needed, and her relationship with her children was no different.

I remember that as young children, my siblings and I had a nanny and didn't see my mother much, and then later in life when she was not working ad much she was around, but not really available. The TV was her vest friend, and we mattered only to the extent that we were not distracting her, annoying her, or not doing as well in school as she thought we ought to. (One of the phrases that sticks out in my mind was "You got an A minus? Why not an A?" it seemed I could never do well enough).

I remember days when she would be home when she was supposed to be working, and my first feeling was on of joy. I wanted her around, I wanted to be with her, and yet, the reality of being with her never failed to disappoint me. Each time I would hope and dream of the time we would spend together and invariably the TV would trump me, she'd find something to pick on me about, she'd find a flaw, and ruin my every wish of having a mom who just loved me.

I remember craving her touch. She would sometimes, although rarely, stroke my hair, in the loving, gentle way a mother does, and for those moments her neglect, rudeness, lack of care for me would disappear and I wanted nothing more than for her to stroke my hair until I fell asleep and dreamed of a place where she was always there for me, loving me, caring about me, wanting to talk to me, and do life with me. I miss her. But I have always missed her. She has never been the mom I needed. She failed to protect me and my siblings, she was too busy thinking about herself and her needs. She failed to love me, she failed to be there when I needed her. So I miss her still, and suspect I always will.

And now, I am a mom, and I can think of nothing I'd rather do than to love on my baby boy, hold him, kiss him, stroke his hair. Let him know that no matter what I will be there for him. I will want to do life with him, I will protect him, and although I am human and will fail and one day die, I will point him to the Father who will never fail him, never die and always be there.