I was out with my mom this past Sunday, hanging out with her for the day. During lunch we got to talking about regrets and Mom confided in me that she had regrets about my upbringing. I asked her about the nature of those regrets, and was surprised to learn that my mom regrets not encouraging me more in social activities; she described regret over the fact that I never got to go to camp, that she didn't encourage me more in sports, or music lessons, or other things normal kids do to learn to socialize with others.
We had a rough time, Mom and I. I was willful, stubborn, clever, and smart-mouthed. She was overwhelmed, married to a rotten motherfucker, and probably at her last emotional resource most of the time. I didn't do the things I did because I wanted to make life difficult for her, but in retrospect I know that's exactly what I did.
I really wasn't expecting to hear of this regret, and it made me very sad. I learned a lot from my mom, important lessons that she taught by example. I'd like to share them here, because they are very valuable to me in my life as a woman, an adult, a step-mother, a boss, a human being, and -I hope- as a good example for others. My mom taught me:
- How to apologize
- How to love others unconditionally
- How not to be judgmental towards people's choices
- How to think for myself
- How and when to appropriately judge another's character
- How to ask for help
- How to improve my situation, no matter how bad
- When it's okay to give up and cut my losses and when it's appropriate to fight for what's right
- How to mind my own business
- How to be a good friend
- That it's okay to stand up for myself
- How to admit when I'm wrong
- How to be true to myself
My mom taught me how to be, and that has proven a lot more useful to me than sports or music lessons. Though I'm pretty sure I would make a totally hot rock-star.
I think I'll go write my mom a letter.