The Facebook trend of passing along pictures of quotes has bugged me from its start, but my sister posted a photo the other day with words that struck me as deeply as they did her. It alluded to how, over time, our relationships with our mothers change in a way that begins and ends with appreciation. I know, I know, trés corny, but it got me to thinking about how my relationship with my mother has changed during my adulthood.
Realizing that your mother is not an annoying demon sent from the beyond to make your life difficult is part of growing up. It’s pretty easy for me to remember before then, when I had no use for anything my mother had to say because I swore she knew absolutely nothing about life.
But for me, growing up was only the first stage of the changes in our relationship: I also realized the ways in which both of my parents aren’t perfect. My mother has flaws, anxieties, fears, and pain just like any person, and as our relationship has changed it’s turned into one in which we both recognize that about each other. It sounds obvious that “my mom is a person” but the change has been a bit deeper than that. Beyond someone to depend on or ask advice, she is also a person who I want to depend on me and ask my advice. Don’t get me wrong, our relationship has not changed so much that I no longer treat her with motherly respect, but it’s interesting to recognize that we’re now two adults, each a little bit crazy, one a whole lot wiser, but with no one really in charge.