It is hard to fully appreciate your parents until you become one yourself. Although I consider myself to be a relatively mature, well-adjusted and even wise adult in my 40s, I did not fully understand nor appreciate your contribution to my life until having my own children in the past two years.
Having a child is life-changing—certainly one of the most impactful things to have ever happened to me—and it has transformed me in innumerable ways. One way is by the revelation (and I really found it a revelation) to realize how me coming into your life must have changed and transformed your life, and the sacrifices that you made to bring me into the world and then bring me up.
In fact, I can think of three profound revelations that I have had through this experience, and I want to make sure you know how this experience has made me see you in an entirely new way.
1. I appreciate your sacrifice. Being a parent is the hardest thing I have ever done. But I take this challenge on at a very mature point in my life. I am in my 40s, I have a stable career and a steady income and I have a loving wife as a strong parenting partner. You took this challenge on in your 20s, raising two boys on your own, without nearly the economic resources that I have today. You also did this without Google or babycenter.com to provide you answers to every question you had along the way. Now I know how hard this really was and I admire you for the job you have done.
2. You were right, I was wrong. I can think of so many things from my childhood that I didn’t understand, didn’t agree with, or even resented you for. As children, you wouldn’t buy us sugary cereals, wouldn’t let us drink soda, you forced us to drink non-fat milk and you wouldn’t let us watch TV when we came home from school. I hated all of these rules and was envious of my friends who could come home from school, grab a Pepsi and a bowl of fruit loops, and plop down in front of some afternoon cartoons or Gilligan’s Island. Now as a parent of two toddlers I abhor the quantities of sugar in foods and I worry about how to keep my kids brains engaged in more meaningful activities than whatever is on the boob tube. Although it didn’t seem so at the time, I can now look back upon the countless times that I challenged your authority and see the simple truth: you were right and I was wrong.
3. You always chose the right thing over the easy thing. In a young mind, lacking long term perspective and filled with yearnings for a variety of things that are not healthy in the long run, it is easy to misunderstand the motives of parental supervision. Kids can feel controlled and subverted as if they are in an evil dictatorship. Now I look back and realize that you were not taking the easy route. You were making hard decisions and taking a stand for what would develop me into the best human being. I love you for that. I thank you for that.
I am only sorry that it took me this long to fully realize the scope of your sacrifice and contribution. I am proud of the men that my brother and I have become. And I am in awe of the job you were able to do as a parent and only hope that I will be able to do the same for my own children. I fully anticipate some karmic rebellion coming my way as the circle of life spins on, but am grateful for the tools you have given me to deal with it. Thank you for being not only a great mother, but a great role model.
Happy mother’s day Mamacita!
With all my love,
Jeremy (your #1 son)
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So sweet Jeremy! Makes me feel better about the tough choices I make for my kids (yes, you have to do your homework; no, you don’t get candies as a snack – eat an apple or some cheese). However, moms still do make mistakes and some of them are downright damaging. I hope that all mothers and parents everywhere raise standards in honour of their children too.
Hi Jeremy, It takes humility (and wisdom :)) for a son to admit his mom was right and took good decisions over the easy route out of responsibility. You forgot one thing: your mom radiates loveliness for you.
Jeremy, what a sweet tribute to your mother. As someone who benefits from having your wonderful spirit in my life, I am also grateful to your mother! Happy Mother’s day to your mom and Catherine too.
Dear Jeremy, one of the kindest, wisest, coolest men I know,
Your tribute to your Mom was so self-disclosingly lovely. I am sitting with my Mom in Delaware, and I read your terrific blog to her. Ironically, she is reading the tribute (Part one if it with Part 2 next week, my verbiage cup did runneth over, but t 93, I needed to make sure she got credit now!). Mom, always the understated, piped up with, “Well, his Mom sure did raise a nice son.” Yes, she did. Those of us blessed with terrific mothers are the luckiest of all. I still learn from Mom. Mostly patience and forbearance. To accept limitations and smile anyway.
Love your photos, too. Precious.
I feel we are in a “Love Your Mom Club.”. Louis would love that, huh?
You can read about my mom at http://www.coachingpositivity.com if the spirit moves you.
Please hug your mom and wife for me. And your kids are so lucky to have you both as wonderful parents.
Women are 40,000 years more evolved then us men, before the Church was invented woman were the choosen one’s, not man.
Women can use both sides of the brain at the same time were as most men can not even come close,,they can talk on the phone, cook breakfast and do a few other things at the same time were a man can not watch TV and vacuum at the same time..
In my world all Mom’s would be paid about 125k a year and NOT be employeed outside of the family until the kids were over 11 or 12….
The Mothers of the Universe,,,are #1
Wonderful post Jeremy. I am due to write something about my mother, and I appreciate her sacrifice, too She passed just over a year ago, just too soon. Thanks for your inspiring tribute to your mother.
How Much do you $$$ owe Mom?