Saturday, September 19, 2009

What if?

What if we all just assume that our mothers did the best they could, even when it seemed like they were acting out of pure selfishness?  What if we just figured that what appeared to be selfishness was actually self preservation, and that by preserving herself, she was being a better mother?

I was thinking about this today.  I raised my mother to be a good mother.  (yea, you have to know her to understand that this true statement).  By the time I was out of the house, she still raised my sister - who will also be a good mother.  In the meantime, I have become the selfish mother who gets up and leaves her children at every possible moment she can.  And, it's not even like I'm doing something good for them, I'm going running.  RUNNING at 5:40am?  Yes, running.  I have the salt crusted eyelashes to prove it when I get home.  I often look like a margarita glass that's been left on the counter too long (sweaty, salt crusted, and empty, but with a distinct bowl like shape - yes, indeed, that is my new visual).

On Saturdays instead of spending time making a huge family breakfast, which is what I used to do on Saturdays.... I spend time with my best girlfriends shlepping around parts of Glen Allen, Henrico, and Ashland in mad hot skirts and bloody sneakers at 6mph.

So as I was saying, today, with just under 2 months left until the BIG M (i.e. the marathon) I am wishing for understanding and forgiveness from my children, and I think about all the times in my explosive teen years (and tween years) when I thought my mother was outright mean, and then in my young adult years when I thought she was selfish.  And now I think, maybe, just maybe, her selfishness wasn't that at all.  It was really preservation of sanity, and I should appreciate the efforts that she made.  

I hope my own kids are this forgiving of me at some point.

1 comment:

Chele said...

I tried to think of something profound and thought provoking to say to this, but nothing came to me. I think back on things now with my mother and think the same, self preservation. I don't have children so I don't have the same insight as you, but that is simply because I am too selfish to have them in the first place (there is also that problem of getting a baby daddy :) ) I've just come out of a relationship where EVERYTHING was sacrificed for the "sake" of the child including love & happiness for the parent. The one thing I do know is that no matter how young, that child will realize the sacrifice but will also realize that daddy had this underlying sadness & it has something to do w/ said child & not really know why. Though you make think it selfish, I think your children will learn determination, perseverance and that sometimes you have to make yourself happy so you can be a better person for those around you.