painting by emily wierenga
All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That's his. ~Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest, 1895
Grown don't mean nothing to a mother. A child is a child. They get bigger, older, but grown? What's that suppose to mean? In my heart it don't mean a thing. ~Toni Morrison, Beloved, 1987
I read these quotes, and I think how lovely, but inaccurate they may be. They are good things, but they are generalizations -- pictures of how we would like things to be.
I look at those lines, and I don't feel truth in them in my relationship with my mother. And I wonder how much truth is there for my children. My mother was not/is not a perfect role model, but then neither am I.
I believe my mother loves me. I believe she believes she would do anything for me. I know she would not. There are things I have asked of her, needed from her that she did not/would not give. I do not believe I would do anything for my children. I hope and pray I would do anything that was in their best interest. Having a bipolar child has taught me to avoid generalizations and absolutes. People say "I'd step in front of Mack truck to protect my kids", but really how many of us ever find ourselves in that situation. Instead, for me, it's been "I will stand up for my kids' right to be who they are. To ask questions. To make mistakes. I will love through all of that."
Would I like a do-over sometimes? Oh yeah! Daily.
And I keep coming back to this picture of the Holy Spirit as "mother". And I like that. I've made some peace with Abba God, and that's been good for me, and gives me hope for my relationship with my earthly father. Maybe working on Holy Spirit/mother will help me work on my relationship with my earthly mother. Maybe it will help me be a better mother to my own children.
linking up with imperfect prose on thursdays