I was raised by a very beautiful woman. She always smelled good…sweet and warm and comforting. The kindness in her ran deep. I saw her turn away with tears in her eyes when my sister and I (deservedly) got disciplined from time to time. I remember her softness, how humbly she spoke.
My friends always liked my momma. She was easygoing with them, but there was never a question that she was my biggest defender.
Momma was meek. She worked hard to provide for us. I was raised by a music-loving, sweet soul.
But my mother was imperfect. And the sad thing is, I always knew it.
I wanted her to be perfect. In my young mind and heart, I wanted her to be what I perceived as perfect. You know…just a little more steady, a little less needy, a little more confident, a little less troubled.
For years, I stayed in this ever changing, heart-aching place of anger towards her. I wanted her to change, to be what I wanted her to be.
I wasted so much time.
And then she was gone.
Now, all these years later, I’m left with the knowledge that we’re all so very flawed. There is no perfect person. No matter what you see on social media, no matter what you hear, no one person can live up to every single expectation.
Today, I’m a mother of two, and I have no doubt they find and then cringe over the things I do that are certainly imperfect. Time has shown me that flaws are as common and real as breathing.
For all the imperfect parents:
Those of us who lose our cool from time to time…
Those of us who don’t always have the perfect answer to every question…
Those of us who wonder if we ran away, if anybody would notice (but of course we’d never really leave…we’re just tired)…
Those of us who feel like we’ve failed in about half we meant to do with our kids. I didn’t get them to church enough, I didn’t push them enough, or maybe I pushed too much, and I think I forgot to teach them how to clean a toilet…
Those of us who worry and cringe every time the phone rings because half our parent brain fears the worst all the time…
For the imperfects, I think it’s okay to be less than perfect, and the sooner we realize and accept each other, flaws and all, the happier we’ll be. No matter what, I knew my mom loved me, and that has been my goal as a parent. I love my children, with all of me, no matter what.
There are no words to express how much I wish I could have a wonderfully squishy hug from my mother, imperfections included. I know she would forgive mine.