Here's what I have to say about Mother's Day: Some people who are not good-enough mothers are still extraordinary human beings.

A few extraordinary points about my own mother:
  • A petite, beautiful blonde, she started her career... in the military... as a welder.
  • She is the most creative, optimistic problem-solver I have ever met. She always believes there's a solution, and she doesn't say "can't."
  • Though an avid reader, she's a skilled member of the learn-by-doing camp. She loves getting her hands dirty, whether it's gardening, remodeling, or some other blend of craftsmanship and hard work.
  • She cleans up exceptionally well. I realized recently I've inherited many of my sartorial preferences from her, particularly in the workplace.
  • I've lost track of the number of different apartments/base housing units we lived in while I was growing up, but she made each of them beautiful. On a shoestring budget. (She was also a fiercely committed provider.)
  • Though some mothers are very jealous of their child's affections, she was constantly putting kind, supportive adults in my life.
  • She's an excellent writer, and she's a particularly faithful correspondent. She still uses paper and pen, too.
  • She's very, very funny, and she laughs hard, which is great fun. (Side note: Dave tells me that our laughter in stereo can be terrifying.)
  • She's very insightful in situations she has some distance from. She uses this both to give wise counsel, and sometimes just to give abundantly.
  • She's passionate about defending justice-- whether it's poverty in Africa or a teacher being rude to a student, she's ready to lead the charge.
My mom had an appalling childhood, and simply didn't have the emotional resources to be a good-enough mother. She's struggled with mental health issues for years, and they've proved difficult to manage. I pray that she continues to heal and flourish, and in the meantime, I can celebrate Extraordinary Person Day on Sunday.

1 comment:

  1. WOW How did you come to terms with that? I just want to hug you tight.

    I love the beautiful extraordinary woman that you are.


"So keep fightin' for freedom and justice, beloveds, but don't you forget to have fun doin' it. Lord, let your laughter ring forth. Be outrageous, ridicule the fraidy-cats, rejoice in all the oddities that freedom can produce. And when you get through kickin' ass and celebratin' the sheer joy of a good fight, be sure to tell those who come after how much fun it was."
-Saint Molly Ivins