ODE TO MOTHER
My mother’s not the typical mother. She wasn’t the best cook in the world when she was younger (I think she actually taught us to fend for ourselves so we could cook for her later!). But, ya know what? That’s okay…I forgive her.
My mother used to be the typical mother. When I told her I was gay (twice…we call it the “second coming out!’), she blamed herself and wondered what everyone would think of her. Now, she’d fight for my right to love whomever I choose because she’d never want me to go through all the pain I went through ever again.
My mother’s not the typical mother. She couldn’t have children with my father, so she was brave and took on the child of someone else and gave me a home where I could learn and thrive. Okay, so we didn’t always understand one another, but she put a roof over my head and gave me what I needed…perhaps, more.
My mother is a typical mother. She worries about the safety and well-being of her children. And although she didn’t, and still doesn’t, agree with all my life choices, she has tried, and still tries, to let me grow and make my own mistakes in life. After all, we are both works in progress, and that’s the way it’s supposed to be until we leave this Earth.
My mother is not a typical mother. Overall, she’s as unselfish as she can be. After all, what adoptive mother would not only aid her child in the search for his and her biological parents but then research the genealogy all the way back to the beginning of time?
My mother is a typical mother. She can be exasperating, controlling, meddling and probably more adjectives that I can’t recall at the moment, which is the way it’s supposed to be. All her good qualities outweigh the bad--The same goes for me too. It’s comforting that we can be exasperating together, since that’s what unconditional love is all about.
My mother is not a typical mother. Most mothers get hugs and “I love You”s which I stopped doing years ago and never should have. Most mothers get the respect they are due, but I forget to do that a lot (Being independent takes a lot out of you!). Most mothers aren’t expected to be their child’s therapist, but mine does. I seem to demand a lot from her, sometimes to her detriment. Most mothers don’t have to experience their children’spain day in and day out, but mine does. The fact that she internalizes it shows just how much she loves me.
My mother is a typical mother. She is the rock of the family. She is strong for all of us because we have yet to learn all the wisdom that she has acquired in her lifetime. My mother is a typical mother because she knows, in spite of all the words that go unspoken, that we love her (in our own way), and would never have another mother in the whole wide world (we now know the alternatives). She is, of course, truly our mother and made us who we are today, both the good and the bad. That’s the way it is and that bond can not be broken.
My relationship with my mother is not typical. One thing the Universe has taught me is trust in what life brings you…always! After all, how could it be that a childless woman and an infant so in need of love found each other in a sea of people only to discover decades later that they are biologically related? If that doesn’t send a clear message, I don’t know what does. Undoubtedly, she was meant to be my mother and I her son.
So, on this Mother’s Day, I celebrate my mother—the only one I’ll ever have and hope that she knows exactly how much I love her. Thanks for everthing, Mom!
Copyright 2011 Paul Niemi