I was at that “about to burst” stage of my first pregnancy when one of my friends spotted a newborn in a restaurant. She dragged me over to meet the new mother and gaze upon her infant. I dutifully ooohhed and ahhhed over the new child, but inside I was reeling. I tried desperately to contain my horror as I stared at the hideous red-mottled, misshaped, scrawny thing wrapped lovingly in a soft blue blanket. I knew in an instant that someone had switched the woman’s baby for an alien and wondered how she could possibly be unaware of the fact.
Later that evening when I saw my mother, I tearfully told her all about that poor mother with the mutant child. To her credit, Mom managed to hide her astonishment at my ignorance and asked me what newborn babies looked like. I grinned at the change of subject and told her how amazingly beautiful my baby was going to be. She would have the sunny personality to match brightest toothless grin imaginable. Her perfectly shaped head and chubby arms would wrapped around my neck as she gummed kisses on my cheek and merrily waved at her daddy. Mom gently stopped me before I got too far along in my daydream. Somehow, with her sage advice, she managed to make me realize that I was also going to have an alien child and assured me that I would love it at first sight.
I’ve always been able to go to my mom for advice. (Yes, even through those turbulent teen years!) To my detriment, I haven’t always taken it, but I know that it has always been given freely. Yet, when I became a mother, my Mom was the one I always turned to. I figured that she had to be more of an expert than any parenting book out there. After all, she raised my brother and I and
I we turned out perfect mostly OK.
Through the years Mom has calmly helped guide me though the maze of parenthood. She’s been there to hold my hand with everything from potty training and sleep issues, temper tantrums and teen acne. Even when we moved a couple states away, Mom has always been just a mere phone call away.
The best gift that my mother ever gave me, though, was to only give me that advice when I asked for it. I’m sure she must have nearly bitten through her tongue on numerous occasions when I was doing something that she didn’t approve of. Somehow, she just knew that I wouldn’t listen to her pearls of wisdom unless I was ready to hear them.
My girls are nearly grown and ready to head out on their own now. I can only hope that they will view me as a fount of wisdom in the same way that I view my own mother. And I can only hope that I will be as good at biting my tongue as Mom is!
Happy Mother’s Day Mama. I love you!