Today is my mom’s birthday and I’m thinking about mothers. It seems to me that people fit into specific camps in their relationships with their mothers. Some have so many issues with their mothers that they have to keep a good distance between them in order to keep the peace. Others adore their mothers and practically live in each others’ pockets. A third group comes in between maintaining an independent distance, available for assistance and regular contact but not emeshed. I know people who exemplify each of these.
When you’re a child, your mother tends to seem like a goddess. Her devotion to you is the security that tethers your world. Of course, lots of kids find no security in their mothers due to the human frailties that so commonly destroy relationships: alcoholism, drug abuse, mental illness, etc. Others have mothers who are so fearful that their children are smothered in their affection. Others find a middle ground that allows children to explore the world while having a safe home base from which to evaluate their discoveries. Will Smith and his family were on Oprah the other day and his wife was saying that there’s a reason that in ancient cultures the boys would be removed from the village by their fathers to undergo manhood trials. Hovering mothers are a detriment to growth and independence. It was a hard lesson for her. I guess that is a lesson from the mother bears. You don’t want to get between a Mama bear and her cub, and if she has twins or triplets you know she is going to be especially grumpy! Still, eventually the Mama bear turns on those cubs and sends them off to live their own lives snarling and snapping if she needs to. Another good lesson.
What were your mother’s dreams? If she didn’t fulfill them, did she pass her dreams onto you? Did you embrace her dreams or choose dreams of your own?