She’s Perfect for Me

My mom and I enjoying an afternoon at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

When people gush about their mom on Mother’s Day I tend to hear all of the wonderful things their mom has done and people go on and on about the love and care that their mom has shown them. It is a beautiful thing. What I rarely hear on this day of celebration is about the things their mom didn’t do right. The times when their mom’s made mistakes. Those things are just as beautiful to me too. In fact, those were instances where some of the best lessons for me were learned.

Today, I choose to celebrate that about my mom. I choose to celebrate that she was, is not and never will be perfect — just perfect for me. That is why I love her so deeply.

She has never pretended to be perfect. One of the greatest realizations of my life was when it finally sunk in that she wasn’t a mythical creature that knew everything, that could solve every problem, or heal every wound. The moment that it was crystal clear to me that she was another human being, a woman on this Earth trying the best she could to figure out the world, who also happened to give birth to three other human beings who would have to find their own course, it was nothing short of astonishing. Being a human isn’t always easy, but being a human also placed in, or rising to the role of caregiver to others is remarkable. How do you not lose yourself?! How do you find your path while trying to direct others on theirs?

Without a doubt, I am a better person because of my mother. I am better because the number one lesson she taught me without every saying it — but by living it — is always do the best you can with whatever you have. I saw and still see her do this every single day in a real, honest and authentic way. No sugar coating. Transparent.

I am stronger because she never hid her weaknesses.

I am empowered to explore because she would admit when she didn’t know.

I am open to help because she wasn’t afraid to ask for it when she needed it.

I am proud. I am compassionate. I am resilient.

Most of all, I am so human because of her. She allows for it because it is what she’s always shown me.

She’s still traveling her road and thus I am not fearful to continue traveling mine while hopefully letting go of more and more baggage along the way. I thank my mother for that too.

The Langston Hughes finger puppet my mom sent me with my Easter card this year. Yes, I’m almost 40 and yes, my mom still sends me cards for every occasion and fun treats that she knows will encourage me and make me smile.

Mother to Son

by Langston Hughes

Well, son, I’ll tell you:
Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
It’s had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor —
Bare.
But all the time
I’se been a-climbin’ on,
And reachin’ landin’s,
And turnin’ corners,
And sometimes goin’ in the dark
Where there ain’t been no light.
So boy, don’t you turn back.
Don’t you set down on the steps
’Cause you finds it’s kinder hard.
Don’t you fall now —
For I’se still goin’, honey,
I’se still climbin’,
And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
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