When I was 15, I was abducted by aliens and turned into a snarky, mom-loathing, rule-breaking, annoying teenager.
At some point a few years later but not a moment too soon, the aliens pressed a button and turned me back into a regular person. Let me say this right now: I am absolutely horrified by and sorry for some of the things I said to my mom and the way I treated her during those years. Truth be told, this brings me to tears sometimes. Though it doesn't excuse bad behavior, I was a teenager and had some crap to sort out.
From one generation to the next, we try our best to be kind, nurturing, loving, engaged parents, even during those unbelievably challenging phases. My mom did her best to maintain her sanity during my teen years (and probably every year, because let's face it, parenting is never easy). Thankfully, she and I are able to laugh about the whole thing now. Mostly.
As parents, we learn from our experiences, our friends and other role models and we courageously forge our own ground. Some days are aces. Some aren't. Most are somewhere in the middle. With any luck, the road is long enough to provide time and space for self-reflection and gratitude.
I'm celebrating my ninth Mother's Day this year and I'd like to begin it with an enormous thank you to my mom whose courage, fortitude, decisiveness, encouragement and kindness has helped me to become someone I feel proud of and has been hugely helpful as I parent my own kids.
I am, of course, also celebrating my own experiences as a mom and deeply grateful for my three monkeys who have changed me forever in ways I am unable to artfully articulate. My kids have opened my world to hope, simplicity and joy in ways that I hadn't previously comprehended and on the days when that's a lot to process, I'm fortunate that my husband is beside me on the journey. I hope that at some point my kids will see that my heart is in it all the time, even on the hard days. And yes, even when the aliens descend upon my house during their teen years.
So three cheers to moms everywhere and to the folks who love them and make their lives richer! And best wishes to you and yours for a happy and healthy Mother's Day!