Writing Prompt: Not your mother's daughter...how do you parent differently than your mother did? Is it a good thing or a bad thing?
She was tired by the time I arrived. Exhausted. Resigned.
She was everything to me, but she was distracted most of the time. Distracted by her pain. There was never an I love you whispered in my ear. I was in the way.
I understand. Not happily married. Not able to pursue a career. Or should I say that this is the life she chose? A victim. A martyr.
She loved me, but she was unable to care. In the end, I was her caregiver. Too young, and unprepared to deal with the disease that would claim her. But I did the best I could. I did what I knew how to do. Not enough, perhaps.
I learned. I grew. Without her.
She is a part of me, an awareness. And I remember the love. I remember her brilliance for though there was always pain, some days she shone bright as the sun. I remember that she did the best she could.
I can do better. I can accept that I am in control of my failures and my successes. I am not a victim. My life is a life I have chosen. Perhaps the life I choose tomorrow will be different, but here I have arrived. Here I am.
I am a different mother than my mother was to me.
I am my son’s tour guide. It is my job to point out the paths and then to let him choose. It is my job to help him assume responsibility for that choice. I look for ways to help him express his individuality, to learn what it is that he enjoys, to make mistakes, to try again and to succeed.
I am sometimes distracted as she was, but mostly I am aware. Thanks to my memory of her. I don’t blame others for my trials. I accept them and so focus on solutions rather than self-pity. I can ask my son for help, remind him to tell me what he needs. We can learn to listen to each other.
Listen. There is so much to hear.
My son will always know that I love him unconditionally. I tell him so every day. He will never go a day without at least one hug and a kiss on the cheek, so long as he wants them.
I am not my mother, but my mother is in me. I am aware. I am better. I am very fortunate and I am grateful. I am who I am because it is who I choose to be. And I am who I am because of who she was.
Thanks mom. I love you.
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This was my first ever writing prompt exercise. Being the relentless gammar freak that I am, it was a challenge for me to write in this style, with some short, incomplete sentences, but I went with it. I followed my heart where it wanted to go, and this was the result.