This is one of those sappy "I-never-appreciated-my-mother" posts.
I was a miserable child. It was once rumored that when I was a small child I was lovely, but that must have been before I learned to walk and talk. I was a back-talking smart ass, and I seriously hated my mother.
My mother worked her tail off to get out of bankruptcy, buy a house, and give me an amazing life. I spent much of my childhood in the backseat of our ancient Honda Accord, going somewhere. I knew all about Lewis and Clark, the geology of Yellowstone, the Missoula Floods, and the Oregon Trail before I was ten. We were always taking staycations, spending time somewhere in Oregon, learning something. But as I entered those heavy teen years, my mother no longer was an awesome know-it-all. She became an eccentric embarrassment with her weird jokes, weirder clothes, and ugly car.
I never appreciated how hard she worked to give me those rich childhood experiences. There were times my mother worked 120 hours in a week between her 3 or 4 jobs. I wanted her around, but I couldn't admit that. It was easier for me to hate her. That gave me an edge with all of my really "hardcore" friends.
I don't know how much I hurt my mom during those dark years of mine. I know now that I'm a mom, it's not cool to hate your mom. My mom is an angel, and nothing short of that. Every time I pick up extra hours, extra shifts, it's not because I'm running away from my family (as I assumed she was). I'm working to give them an awesome life just like my mom did for me. I get how the two connect.
This Mother's Day, I don't get to see her, to make her breakfast, to clean her house. I can just tell her publicly, I love you, Mommy. I always have and I always will. I wish I could be half the mom that you are.