Being a parent is tough.
Here you have, a helpless defenseless being, full of untapped potential, whose sole survival is 100% dependent on you. There is no instruction manual. No "how-to kit" save a few publications from "professional experts" and/or parents who have gone through the trenches before you. However, depending on your access to resources and/or support circles, at the end of the day, all you have is your specific set of personal experiences and knowledge to impart, a lot of trial and error, praying to God and hoping for the best! There is no one size fits all, no one broad stroke of "perfect parenting" to bring up the "perfect human being". Just perfectly imperfect humans doing the best they can, with what they have, to allow their child(ren) the best experiences as humanly possible- no matter the sacrifice -to be truly happy, to experience love and so on and so forth.
I cannot fathom a greater gift.
As a product of a single-parent household, I didn't always listen, and I was certainly hard-headed! But I watched. I watched this woman get up everyday, dressed professionally, and smelling AMAZING to go to work, Every. Single. Day. I watched her make sure there was food on the table and a roof over our heads. I still have fond memories of Christmas's (also my birthday). The fact that even though I didn't always get what I wanted, she made sure to slice out a piece of this national holiday everyone spent with their families, to still feel like my special day was not glossed over. She made miracles out of nothing and we took it for granted because we didn't skip a beat. As I got older and "needed" the fresh gear and name brand clothes, she made me get a job, forcing me to be responsible and appreciating what I worked for and therefore earned.
The list goes on.. and as stated earlier, nothing was perfect. Nothing still is perfect. Life is messy. All we can do is our best. Long after I left the house, I continued to fall on my face, many times! But it was the set of tools that she instilled in me, mixed with grit and determination that I picked up by watching her. Whether she knew I was or not. You can't be, what you don't see. So as the saying goes, (not that she doesn't know this), but I'd like to give her her flowers while she's still here. I love you Ma, and I'd like to say: Thank you.
Happy Mother's Day.