I’m Jealous of Your Relationship with Your Mother
My Nod to Mother’s Day
Okay. I admit it. I’m jealous of you.
I can see it in your eyes, in the way you hold your head, and work through the tasks of your day. I can see it in the way you stand, from the top of your perfectly-styled hair to the tips of your carefully-chosen shoes.
I can tell that your mother is a very nice person, and that you love her. What’s more, it’s easy to see that your mother earned your devotion. She actually resembles the Hallmark card you picked out for her. As you grew up she took care of you, she taught you, she praised you and bragged you up to other people. She actively encouraged your own desires and interests by attending plays, games, and science fairs. She held you when you were sick, worried when you came home late, helped you with your homework, cried with you when you didn’t get picked for the cheerleading squad.
Your mother took you to the store, stood in the fitting room, and taught you how to size a bra. She showed you how to use tampons and pads, how to apply makeup, what qualities to look for in boys and men.
Your mother taught you how to hold your first newborn, how to nurse him, how to tape his diapers so his cord would dry out.
Your mother taught you how to be a girl, a woman. She did this because she loves you, and your accomplishments bring her the greatest joy.
All my life I’ve wanted a mother like yours. I’ve wondered what it feels like to be adored just because I’m here. More than anything in the world, I’ve wanted to know what it was like to share a secret with my mother, to be understood as a trusted friend. I’ve always known that I deserved to be loved and wanted, like you are. But I’m not. I never was. And no amount of blindered thinking will change the reality of my childhood.
So instead of wasting time, dreaming that my mother will one day transform into a real human being like Ebenezer Scrooge did, I do the next best thing. I watch you.
I’ve noticed that you got that upward tilt of the head from your mother. And you treat others with special kindness, just like she did. You and your mother have taught me how to become the woman I’ve always wanted to be. Even though I may never meet her, I’m very grateful for the example she set.
It’s painful to admit this, but the thought of normal relationships frightens me. At the same time, I long to understand what they’re like. I love to hear about your plans to visit your mother, and I look forward to seeing the pictures on social media. I really do hope you have a great time, and that you build memories you can cherish forever.
With heartache so crushing I’m unable to face it directly, I wish I were going too. Since I can’t, I was wondering if you could do me a favor. The next time you hug your mother and thank her for all she’s done, could you give her an extra one? Tell her it’s from me.