Don't we all wish we'd appreciated our parents more? And if we did appreciate them, did we let them know it?
Because of the blog, I think about college a lot. And recently I've been thinking back to a long ago Mother's Day, when I graduated from college. My mother was so proud of me, and so thrilled to have such a momentous event occur on her day.
She deserved the happiness. She and my dad had worked hard/budgeted carefully to pay for college. And four years later, they had their very own Duke graduate. I remember that I did not share the absolute elation. I didn't have a job lined up yet and I would be heading back home to Baltimore, clueless about my future. Why do I suspect I didn't tell my parents how grateful I was.
I've found a stash of the many letters my mom sent me while I was at school. They were filled with the everyday stuff about her friends, my grandparents, how work was treating my dad, how my brother was doing in high school. I understand now how much she missed having me around -- the letters were a surrogate for face-to-face chat.
And I apparently expressed anguish about some difficult classes and even about my social life. She offered good, straightforward good advice. There were also letters in which she was upset with me -- about something in a previous note, or something I said on the every Sunday phone calls. Who knows what foolishness I said at 18, or even 20.
I am already wondering how I will react when our one and only child heads to college. I sure hope I have things to keep me busy. I miss her already.
But I still have plenty of time to drive her crazy, and she will sweetly reciprocate. My mother's day gift to my child -- maybe I will start some form of meditation so that I can remain calm in times of deadlines and angst. So that I can be, at all times, a good, supportive mom through the challenges ahead. Involved but not suffocatingly so. Questioning but not tormenting. Understanding but firm. All the usual mom stuff, multiplied by a thousand.
Happy Mother's Day!