moms forgiving children forgiving moms

i broke ella’s tea cup.

she found a set at an estate sale that was pretty perfect and upon carrying it in from the yard, it slipped from my hand.

way to go, mom.

its tough not to venerate your mother.  to gloss over the past and the short comings and hope your own children will do the same for you.  its like the funeral phenomenon where the deceased suddenly gets saint status even though they broke your heart.

a mother is broken.

she messes up and forgets about you and ignores you when you need affirmation.  she says the wrong thing and she hurts you and you get to see her mess up in a front row seat.

moms are given brand new babies that are pretty perfect and they break stuff.

but they make stuff, too.

both of our mothers rejected a paint by numbers life, picked up a brush and now both of our daughters are original masterpieces.

both of our mothers rejected a spirituality that told them what a woman was and hammered out a relationship with god like a blacksmith and now our daughters wear crosses around their necks forged in refining flames.

that’s the thing about a mother, she lives life right in front of you.  you invade her world. she lives for two or three or four or five, to be with her is almost like to be with yourself.

there’s no hiding for the broken mom.

i threw the pieces of the shattered cup away last night.

i apologized to ella and she forgave me quick, like the way i’ve forgiven broken plates and cups before.  i noticed it and was thankful that i’ve never held broken things over her head, that i’ve been quick to forgive.

i woke up this morning and realized i could have glued it back together.

i dug through the garbage, coffee grounds and banana peels.  old tea leaves and paper plates.  i looked through it twice.  i found everything but one piece.

sometimes a mother looks through the garbage to find what is still valuable to make things better.

sometimes there’s still a missing piece.

and that’s okay.

because we know you tried and still try.

its that you looked through at all, that you were willing.

i forgive you mom, just like you forgave me.

imperfect mothers are a given, forgiveness isn’t.  i recommend embracing both so your children know how when the time comes.

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