This started out being a post about pieces of advice my mother gave me that were wrong. Complete garbage. 'Cause we're coming up on Mother's Day and I wanted to push the envelope a little.
You see, my Mom was born in a different era, and we were very different people. She was a wife and a homemaker who never had a thought or a plan or a dream to be anything other than my Dad's wife and Mom to the three of us. She did it well, too. God knows, we didn't always make it easy.
But sometimes, she'd say things that were well-intended, or seemed true to her, coming from the time she grew up in, and they were just....well, they were bunk.
Once, my then-boyfriend-eventual-husband asked me to hold his wallet for him. My mother pulled me aside later to tell me I had no business holding a man's wallet. And while I was at it, I should never ask a man how he spends his money. Ever.
Even as young as I was back then, I knew that was nuts.
But I also temper that bit of ridiculousness with the knowledge that when I got married, we didn't live on his money. We lived on our money, made by both of us. But even if we hadn't, it would still be nuts to never talk about finances with the man you marry.
She was a romantic, my mother. She told me on more than one occasion that if you love each other, you can work through anything together.
And that, I have learned since, is not bunk. But it's not realistic, either. Yes, love can make you want to do whatever you need to do to fix things. It can make you want to try, to change, to look the other way in the hope of preserving whatever you have left.
You can love someone. You can love them with everything you've got, and it still might all go to hell because love without respect is useless.
Mom once told me that girls who worked out every day got muscle-y and boys don't like "masculine-looking" girls.
Wish I hadn't agreed with that one.
So I started to write down a list of all the things Mom told me that weren't the greatest, advice-wise, and found myself writing instead about all the good and great stuff she did teach me:
Kindness. Acceptance. Family. Faith. Friendships. And the greatest of these: unconditional love.
And then I realized that it was just another Mother's Day post, about how much I love my Mom, and miss my mom, and wish she was here to give me bad advice that I can roll my eyes at, because that, at least, would mean I could hear her voice on the other end of the phone.
She wasn't perfect, but she was my Mom, and I wish I had here to tell her that I miss her.
I miss her a lot.
And this is just another Mother's Day blog, about a mom who did her best, raising a daughter who's doing her best to capture that, and wishing she could put it into words.