My Mother

what if

there isn’t enough time

to give her what she deserves

do you think

if i begged the sky hard enough

my mother’s soul would

return to me as my daughter

so i can give her

the comfort she gave me

my whole life

rupi kaur
My beautiful mother

Anyone could tell me that my mother is not the most breathtakingly beautiful woman in the world and I still would never believe it. My mother is and always has been the most strong, composed, charming, lovely, kind, full of wonder, funny, and arguably the most beautiful woman I have ever had the privilege of knowing. I use the word privilege because it is a privilege, I feel lucky to know my mother.

My mother doesn’t usually get the appreciation she deserves. She is often overlooked, spoken over, ignored, she’s even been forgotten about on important holidays or occasions. Astonishingly, she takes it all in a stride. I’ve only seen her get upset over how she can be treated a handful of times. She understands with a grace I am envious of that my family sometimes is forgetful, hot-headed, and too caught up in our own feelings to treat her how she would like. That of course does not mean we don’t feel terrible or change our actions when we realize we’ve hurt her. I would be so lucky to be half of the mother she is. She is always there for her children and stayed strong throughout everything life threw at her. She and her mother weren’t very close, and she tried so hard to always show us how much she cared.

Unfortunately my mother and I weren’t very close until just before I moved out, which was mostly my fault. I wish I had spent more time with her and really talked with her more often. I sometimes wish I hadn’t left so soon after turning eighteen. I don’t think I knew how much one of your children growing up and moving out really affects you, and now that I do I wish that I hadn’t put my mother through that so quickly. I think we would’ve become much closer if I had stayed longer, but it’s nice growing closer even with the distance. It brings me a lot of peace knowing that she’s in a better place than she used to be with her health getting better and my dad retiring. She deserves every good thing that comes her way and much more.

I love you mom, I know you’ll never forget that you are so loved and I hope you know how much we all appreciate you.

Beginnings

Beginnings are very important. First impressions usually have a large impact on any relationship, which means we try very hard to start out on the right foot or even go out of our way to impress. I believe our first interactions make us the most vulnerable, yet also the most drawn in. We tend to hide our impurities and flaws from someone new. We not only cleanse our appearance, we make sure our living spaces are as immaculate as we can make them and we tell our friends and family to clean up their acts. In my experience, the “best” first impressions lead to the most doctored relationships. When you start by putting your best foot forward it can become harder and harder to let your other foot follow. You become stuck and the relationship can’t move along smoothly, which results in either an unequal relationship where one person feels slow or even trapped, or results in the termination of a relationship that was never given a proper chance. On the other hand, to me it seems that when we allow ourselves to slip up we can come across the best relationships.

How often do we allow ourselves mistakes? The picture above is one of the first I took with my camera, (after my photography class of course) and I can see all the mistakes I made. I could’ve focused my lens better, edited the photo, maybe cropped out the ripped leaf, to name a few. That doesn’t make the picture any less mine, and doesn’t take anything away from it. I took that picture with newly learned experience and that makes me proud. I think we should feel that way with everything we accomplish. Try making what you call mistakes into things that bring you joy. You invited a friend over, but forgot that your children were playing in the living room and now toys are everywhere? You met someone new but didn’t feel like you really clicked? You dropped one of your favorite dishes and now it has a chip or a crack? Feel free to stress, but first try remembering that your house looks lived in and makes your children happy, that you can try again, and that maybe your dish has a little more character now. Remembering the upsides and not just the downsides can help you to remember how great life really can be.

Obviously those were situations I imagined, but hopefully I wasn’t too cheesy and my first impression on you had a few mistakes you can laugh with me over. I’m learning to appreciate everything I do, whether I mess up or not.