Taking on the role of a mother, in this day in age, can mean so many different things. Moms aren't always biological anymore. Sometimes moms are grandparents and sometimes they're aunts. Sometimes they are distant relatives and sometimes there is no relation at all. Sometimes moms are single, and sometimes there are two. It's a complex world, but one that we all continue to adapt to. It's become normal.
My own children are adopted, and being raised my two moms. They often inquire about their biological parents, and dream of what it may be like to reunite with them. Naturally, this is worrisome for both Renee and I, and for a variety of different reasons.
First and foremost, we worry about their hearts being broken! What if their parents never get themselves together, prior to their meeting. Will their dreams be crushed? Will they want to save their parents and fix their problems? What will happen after they meet them?….. A million questions scream through our heads.
Though we try to look at it in a selfless manner, sometimes it's hard not to know where we will fit into that picture, once that day comes. After raising them through their whole lives, will the biological factor kick in? Will our children allow those parents to reap the reward? Will we be able to maturely handle the balance between both, and will we encourage that relationship? Will we feel crushed, feeling as though we deserve the acclaim, and then will we take our frustrations out on our grown children, pushing them even further away? There are so many questions.
Of course, we invision ourselves, being mature. We promise that we will help them find their birth parents when the time is right. We believe that we are capable of handling anything that comes our way……But who can really know when that time comes?
When I was a child, my parents divorced, like many parents around the world. I then gained a second mother, my step mother Patty. We all learned to love Patty, despite our circumstances and broken home! She was a great woman, who never treated us as anything less than her own.
My brothers and I lived with my mother for most of our youth, and did the typical every other weekend/half summers with my Dad and Patty. Then later, as teenagers, we changed it up….and lived with my dad and Patty, and so on and so forth. We were always good pals with Patty throughout, but as we grew into adults, we had each formed our own relationship with her in our own ways. We enjoyed trips, and races, and cocktails….We loved her as our mother, the same as she loved us as her children.
Just last month, at the age of 50, we lost Patty to breast cancer. We were devastated to say the least. My brothers and I still have trouble believing she's gone. We have mourned together ALOT recently, and I admit to lacking time and effort when it came to chatting with my mom.
Don't get me wrong, she checked in frequently, worried about each of us and how we were feeling. You see, we have a fabulous mother!
We had no choice in growing to love our mama P, because those were the circumstances that were given to us after the divorce…Plus, she was likeable…. unlike the step mom horror stories that we hear so often. So, as we grieved the loss of our second mother, I never once felt guilty for doing so! However, my thoughts often went to my mother!
I wondered how she must be feeling on so many occasions. She was watching her children grieve over a mother figure that wasnt her. We wrote obituaries and eulogies. We talked about how wonderful this woman was, and shared with others how much she's shaped our lives. We sobbed loud and hard, and our hearts broke in a million pieces over this woman…this woman that also called herself our mom!
I put myself in my moms shoes many times in the course of the last month or so. I felt for her, and I wondered if one day I would relate to her feelings. I guessed that I probably would.
Each time I watched her react to one of our statements, each time she watched our tears, and each time she called to check on us, my heart grew even more fond of her. She listened, she cried, and she cared. I know she had to have felt jabs in the gut every now and again, knowing that the words we spoke should have been for her….that was her role….she was cheated. However, throughout the process, she was mature, she put our needs above her own, and she kept her own concerns quiet. My mother is amazing, and I love her so much!!
This past weekend was her birthday, and my family and I did it up with style……or maybe just slightly less than that!:) We enjoyed lunch, we went to wineries, and we laughed all day long…heeding to every command she had!
I like to mention how lucky I am to have the family I have as much as possible. It's a rare find. This is the kind of family that you dont make excuses to have to see. We actually have fun, enjoy being around each other, and feel sad when we are the ones who can't make it.
I mentioned to my mom how lucky we are again. She welled up with tears when I told her that Renee had thanked me for letting her be a part of this family, and I think I saw a tiny tear drop down her cheek. I know she had her own emotions bottled up, and I know she was thankful for this moment.
Today, I just want to give a shout out to my mother, who is so very important to each of us! I'm not doing it because its her birthday, or because thanksgiving is coming up…..but just because she is, and always has been, a great mother to us!
I only hope I can follow her lead, using poise and class, when it comes to dealing with the second set of parents in my own children's lives!
Thank you mom:)