For the mothers of my generation: print this out and tape it on your fridge. Refer to it often. It will help on bad days. The above baby was my baby; my only child. He was and is the light of my life. He doesn’t realize how much I love him or the ends of the world I would go for him. But because I love him, I have to love him enough. And Erma said it best in “If Life Is a Bowl of Cherries, What Am I Doing in the Pits?” in 1985. She reared three children – and I only have one. My son doesn’t read my blog, but if he does, I want him to digest the below. Because when he has those five dingbat red-headed daughters that will end the Browning name forever and they drive him nuts? I will lean back, an old woman, and smile (as my parents do now) and murmur, “Justice.”
“Someday, when my children are old enough to understand the logic that motivates a mother, I’ll tell them…
I loved you enough to bug you about where you were going, with whom and what time you would get home.
I loved you enough to insist you buy a bike with your own money, which we could afford, and you couldn’t.
I loved you enough to be silent and let you discover your hand picked friend was a creep.
I loved you enough to stand over you for two hours while you cleaned your bedroom, a job that would have taken me 15 minutes.
I loved you enough to say, “Yes, you can go to Disney World on Mother’s Day.”
I loved you enough to let you see anger, disappointment, disgust, and tears in my eyes.
I loved you enough not to make excuses for your lack of respect or your bad manners.
I loved you enough to admit that I was wrong and ask for your forgiveness.
I loved you enough to ignore “what every other mother” did or said.
I loved you enough to let you stumble, fall, hurt, and fail.
I loved you enough to let you assume the responsibility for your own actions, at 6, 10, or 16.
I loved you enough to figure you would lie about the party being chaperoned, but forgave you for it…after discovering I was right.
I loved you enough to shove you off my lap, let go of your hand, be mute to your pleas and insensitive to your demands…so that you had to stand alone.
I loved you enough to accept you for what you are, and not what I wanted you to be.
But most of all, I loved you enough to say no when you hated me for it. That was the hardest part of all.”