Monday, December 13, 2010

A Revelation

I've got this friend, a very sweet woman and I love her to pieces. She's pretty much perfect. She never seems frazzled, always soft spoken, even with her kids (she has 4), I can't even imagine her yelling. Heck, I can't even imagine her doing something like stepping in dog poop. She's be annoying if she wasn't so darn nice. Her kids were all a bit older than mine and I admired her as a person and a parent. But, watching her with her kids, who were all well-behaved and have grown to be wonderful responsible adults, I always felt inadequate, lacking a bit in the mom department. I never felt I could measure up to a woman who actually dreaded the first day of school because she'd miss her kids during the day (is that even human?). Anyway, with her as my yardstick, I always came up short. But today a friend from high school (totally unrelated to my perfect friend) made a comment on her Facebook page about making cut out sugar cookies and how she hated doing it. Then her sister chimed in and said she sounded like their mother, who hated making them as well and was known to swear while making them. That brought back one of my favorite memories of my mother. My mom wasn't a baker, but every year, like my friends mom, she insisted on making cut out sugar cookies at Christmas time - and she HATED it. I commented that I also had warm fuzzy memories of my mom losing her temper making cookies as well. Then, my friend's mom chimed in jokingly saying how kids never seem to remember the happy times. I responded that though we remember the good times, it's much more fun to remember the times when our mothers cussed out cookie dough. Then, I realized that my greatest memories of my mom weren't when she was doing a June Cleaver imitation, it was those times when she was being goofy and irreverent, like the time we were messing around instead of setting the table and she tossed a whole stack of plates across the kitchen. Yeah, if you could ask my mom, I'm sure she'd say that wasn't an incident she'd want her kids to remember her by, but it was a time when she was a human, just doing what she could to keep her family going, keep her kids in line and create memories we can still chuckle over 26 years after her death. Even now, when I don't have some kitchen utensil or practical little gadget, I'll say: I don't have all those modern conveniences that are in other people's garages! (her response one time during a cut out cookie episode when my dad asked where her flour sifter was - we got her one for Christmas). Know what, I laugh every time I say it. I hope I can give my kids memories that they can take with them to adulthood as well. Being a mom is an important job, but I'm glad that I've finally realized that I haven't failed if I'm not perfect. My kids love me the way I am and I love them, too. Know what else I realized? My friend probably isn't perfect either.

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