After I attended an event a few weeks ago, I told Mr. G that I had been too shy to ask a question. Pumpkin was incredulous.
“But mom,” she said, “You’re not SHY!”
Of course, I am shy on many occasions. And consider myself to be pretty socially awkward at times. So it was interesting to realize that, to my girls, I project confidence.
But the more I thought about it, the more that made sense. Because, as a kid, I always thought my mom knew everything. That she had all the answers and knew the right way to do things.
My mom didn’t have the easiest of childhoods. And the first few years of my life weren’t the easiest for her, either. Spending part of it as a single mom to my sister and I; moving back in with her parents until she landed on her feet; then losing her dad. All before I turned 5. But I always thought she had the right answers.
Growing up and becoming an adult and then a parent is a funny thing. You think the answers come with age or with the kids. And then you realize, you’re just winging it. Getting through one day at a time, figuring it out as you go. And that it must have been that way for your parents, too, even though they never let on.
I have learned a whole new respect for my mom as I’ve become a parent. Yes, there were things about my childhood that were difficult, things that I wish had been different. But I realize now that my mom faced challenges that I never have, and she worked hard to give my sister and I a different life.
As much as I now realize she also was just winging it, as a mom myself now, I am that much more appreciative of her as a mom. And on those days when my girls fight, bicker, complain and whine, I also feel like I should apologize a lot … and thank her more than I do.
Last week, I was able to spend a couple days visiting my mom. And I came home to two girls, with beaming smiles and hugs who couldn’t have been happier to see me. And I think I must be doing something right. Even when if feels like I’m not.