My mom has shown me that it is extremely important to watch what you do, what you say, and who you are in front of your daughter, because that little girl is always watching, and in spite of all her intentions and the facade of free will, your daughter will grow up to encompass many of your traits, your mannerisms and your values.
MyMomster reminded me gently long ago, when I was dating, to make sure there is a piece of 'me' left for me at the end of it all, advice that put me back on track at just the right time, and something that I try to remember from time to time.
My mother I borrow from my husband, has shown me what it means to be fiercely loyal, and completely in love with a child; there is nothing she would not do for her children.
I have other mothers around me, amazing women really.
BQ taught me that the journey is an important part too, and that in my desire to get there, I sometimes miss the here, which is the only place I really need to be. Her endurance and perseverance in mothering continue to amaze me, even all these years later.
Pollyanna reminds me to be spontaneous, and continues to ask me to join in her joy even when I say "no" eight times in a row. She might seem like she is always on the fly, but she has a plan for the kind of mom she wants to be, and the opportunities she wants to create for her children. She shapes their world with a gentle hand and without ever raising her voice.
and there's Squid, who is the most consistent mother I know. Her children are brilliant, and they sparkle with curiosity because she shows them great things, and talks about great things, and expects great things from those little people. And when she is done parenting at home she sets out her door to make the world a better place for all children.
Sage is a baby (and dog) whisperer. Every child adores her because she loves with her whole heart, with a patience I can only admire at this point. I'm still working on actually practicing that one. She comforts and cares with such great depth that she's one of those people I can really cry in front of without feeling weak.
When parenting is not easy, not what I expected or what I want, or I'm feeling like I am just not a capable mom, I always have my sister to lean on or look up to. We have traded children when the ones that call us mom are making us crazy, when we think we cannot possibly feed, bathe and put to bed those shining faces even one more time. She is the one who reminds me of my skills, admonishes me when I am too indulgent, and loves my children like they are her own. She reminds me that loving myself is the first part of being the best mother I can be.
and there are other mothers too, like my neighbor a few doors down, who mothers me, respectfully of course, because her children aren't near her, serving as yet another example that it does not matter whether you are related by blood, or by choice, or by marriage. What matters is how we love, and how we learn from each other.
Thank you to all the women who have mothered me, who help me mother my children, and those women who parent their own children so that they can become productive members of our society. I'm not much for Hallmark holidays, but today I raise my glass to each of you.