Taken from my book, “Mama, Part 2”.
I wrote this for my Mama, ten years ago :)…enjoy.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the mamas out there :). Much love, Heike
“This Morning I looked in the Mirror ~
AND SAW MY MOTHER!”
What an experience! What a revelation…Maybe it’s my 30th birthday coming up? Now, when I look at my daughter who is becoming fiercely independent, I understand my mother more and more! I believe there is nothing like the relationship between a mother and daughter. This special relationship is often one of love and hate, and can’t be compared to anything else.
This process started shortly after my daughter was born in Oct. 97. I was suddenly overcome with this STRONG feeling of guilt! After a few days I couldn’t stand it anymore, and under sobs and teary-eyed, I vividly remember calling my mother and asking: ”How can you still love me after all the things I have said and done?” My mother just laughed, and told me she loved me! My husband said he was proud of me, because this means I finally see the light!
Do we women have to give birth to a child to understand our parents, mainly our mothers? When I was in puberty, I was my mother’s worst nightmare come true, though she would never admit it. I came home late, drove a motorcycle, and swore. I picked up new slang and thought it was cool, and when it slipped out accidentally in front of my mother, she was aghast at my language. At the same time she found me opportunities to work and be a trainee, most of them I visited twice and never again. Did she give up on me? NO! When my mother landed a cushy job downtown for a stockbroker, guess who she hired as her assistant? ME! I wrote checks, ran errands, posted mail and called my “boyfriend” in New York. Remember when you wanted to go out, but your mother said: “No, because it’s raining.”? (In my case my transportation was an off-road motorcycle. You cannot drive in Germany until you are 18.)? She never told me she didn’t want me to go because she was worried, and I thought it was so unfair! How many times did I feel misunderstood and patronized! Now I have to call halfway around the world for the advice I used to shrug off…. Let that be a lesson learned!
In all those terrible years where my mother surely thought I was not paying attention, I was. I inherited her finesse to make something out of nothing.
I am sure my mother did not realize how she would influence my philosophy of parenting when she cuddled me and rubbed my stomach instead of giving me pills, or when she took me to work. She gave me a lot of responsibility when I was still a young child, since she had to work, and it was just her and I. She confided her problems to me and asked me for advice, when other parents would have said “She’s just a kid!” My mother always let me make my own decisions and mistakes, even if she had her own opinion about it. We are still very close and cuddle, even though I am almost “30”!
Now I have also taken on a mother’s instinct when it comes to her, a switch of roles. When I call her and she is not where I feel she is supposed to be, I leave reprimanding messages! I worry when she is sad or sick. I remind her to go to the doctor, and prepare “Relax Days” when she visits. She often tells me I am doing a great job being a mother to my daughter, which means a lot to me.
I am a little sad and teary-eyed when I write this, because my best friend lives so far away from me now. Nevertheless, my long-distance company loves me, and I would rather sacrifice something else than to lower my phone bill. Many of us take our parents for granted, until they are unreachable. I am very lucky to have this relationship, but even if yours is not as harmonious, you must forgive and remember the good things you have received.
This story is a tribute to my mother, Sascha, who has made me the insightful and cuddly mother I am today!