Bad Day

Minor issues that would not normally upset me, or would cause a small amount of frustration before I moved on, have lingered with me all day.  At a celebration for the three ski team girls who graduated this spring, I didn’t take any pictures.  Never mind that we all had such a great time pictures weren’t really thought of until too late.  An appointment this morning went all wrong.  I realized that I should have sent a greeting card for an event, but the thought never crossed my mind until it was too late.  All minor issues that have grabbed my emotions and tangled them into a knot of regret.  It seems I am having a bad day that I can’t shake.

I am in a low place, and maybe this is the reason, why.   I find myself reflecting on my relationship with my mother.   I worry, that I hurt her feelings without knowing it.  My mind rambles back through my teen and young adult days.  Did I do and say things that were callous?  Was I so wrapped up in myself I forgot that Mom was a person with feelings, too?  I know I did.   I wonder how many times she forgave me and I was totally oblivious to her grace.  Today, even though it is silly, I’m struggling with these regrets that weigh heavy on my heart.

With each step of my life I have realized, as many woman do: my mother did the best she could.  When I only had two young toddlers, I could not even imagine how my mother handled three, along with three older children.  When my girls and I struggled through the teen years, I often reflected on my feelings about how mistreated I felt by my mother.  With age comes the vision of hindsight and with that, the realization Mom was probably struggling to know how to handle my teenage anxiety, just as I struggled with my girls.   I did come to one conclusion: Mom could have been more forth-coming with hugs.  Perhaps, some acknowledgement of accomplishments would have been nice.  I hated being told there were so many kids at the high school far worse off than me, when all I really wanted from Mom right then, was a hug and the words, “I love you.”   I carried that resentment with me for many years.  I believe that same resentment helped me to be a different and, hopefully, more loving mother to my girls.

We often learn from our mistakes.  But, as my mother used to tell me, “I hope you are watching and learning from your older sisters mistakes.”  I did watch and learn; not only my sisters’ but my mothers’.  Because, as Mom believed, each generation should learn from the old and carry that knowledge into the next.  Thanks, Mom.   I love you.


5 thoughts on “Bad Day

  1. Well put. “We do the best we can and when we know better we do better” is the statement I have told to my children through the years when explaining certain issues that we may have considered incorrect when looking back in time.

  2. One of my best friends (who was finally able to adopt a child at the age of 47) told me that her mother never said, ‘I love you’ and never hugged her. So when she became a mother, she swore that she would hug her daughter and tell her she loved her all the time. Now, her daughter tells her she was too smothering! I guess we all have to have something to complain to the therapist about!! Personally, I’m giving my kids lots of options to choose from!!

    Why can’t we give our mom’s (and ourselves) the benefit of the doubt and trust that they tried to do their best…sometimes you even realize that they never stopped trying either.

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