I was not an easy child to deal with. I was born angry, that’s what I remember being told many times before. My switch was easy to flip, and my tantrums or bursts of fury were very frequent and appeared out of no where. I picked paint off the walls whenever I was put in time out, I threw and flung furniture across rooms, and I kicked holes in walls and doors. Yet my mom handled every bit of my hell with pure love, acceptance, and understanding.
For example, I remember coming home from elementary school, and unleashing my anger on my family. Mom had tried spanking me before and it either didn’t help or made things worse. She just didn’t understand where my behavior was coming from. One day after coming home from school, she knelt down and gave me a hug. She asked me what was wrong? And I burst. I cried and told her about some kids who were taking my lunch money or food from me. I don’t think my mom spanked me ever again after all this, and instead we did what we now call hug therapy. I think this led Mom to her understanding of what an emotional child I was and how difficult sorting those feelings out was for me.
Mom never saw my siblings (Joe and Jessica), and I as a group of children. She always looked at each of us as who we are as individuals and connected with us each on that level. The rules she gave us were unique to who were. When we talked to her, she listened to what each of us had to say. The bonds she created with all three of us is unique and strong because of how she treated us, talked to us, and interacted with us on each individual level.
As I turned into a teenager, I didn’t get much easier to handle. Yet Mom never faltered in her ability to support and love me. When I wouldn’t listen, talk, calm down or anything she gave me other outlets to get those ugly things out of me. She gave me my writing, she gave me my art; and when I started writing on my bedroom walls, she read what I wrote and embraced the new way I chose to express myself. Anyway I chose to express myself she accepted. No matter how I appeared, Mom always saw me for exactly who I was. She has always loved me for who I am, and whenever I lost sight of myself, she did all that she could to remind me of what kind of person I am.
If it weren’t for the journals she had given me and recognized what writing did for me, I’m not sure I’d still be here. There were even times when she wrote me letters to communicate with me. I still have them, and cherish them immensely.
Mom isn’t just my parent, she’s my best friend. As I got older and older, and has our bond and trust grew stronger and stronger, I opened up more. I can tell her anything, talk to her about everything, and I have no fear of judgment or rejection. I never have. She did exactly what a parent should do for their child, which is make them feel like they’re significant and that they belong. Because of all the ways she accepted me, supported me, and loved me, I do feel those things.
I can’t speak for my siblings, but I would be astonished if they didn’t feel or think of our mom in the same or similar ways as I do. In Joe, Mom recognized his musical ear and helped him gain music as an outlet by getting him a guitar. She never hesitated to let him play his music and when he started creating a band in and a little after high school, she allowed them all to practice at our house. Mom also recognizes internal struggles Jessica has, and does everything she can to support her through them. She may not always know what to do, but she always listens and gives the best advice she can give accordingly. Our mom is our boulder, grounding us whenever we feel like we’re just floating around in space.
I would, and definitely could say more about who my mom is – what kind of person she is – but I think for now I’ve got it covered. My appreciation and love for her goes far beyond anything I could ever write, and I hope I never fail in letting her know it.
©S.T. Jan. 16, 15