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Motherhood: Learning From the Master

It's a special day for a very special lady - HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

My mother truly mastered motherhood. She was the most selfless, giving, thoughtful, patient and strong parent to both my brother and I. We didn't always appreciate or understand it, particularly between the ages of 12 - 17 but that shouldn't be a surprise to anyone reading this. I'm not exaggerating when I say my Mami was a remarkable parent, often having to act as mother and father when my dad traveled for months on end.

She was room mother, helped in the counseling center and volunteered to work behind the scenes at sporting events or stage productions. Every holiday and birthday was perfect, thoughtful and joyous. She was strict at times and always the boss. When we really messed up she reminded us she loved us but didn't like us in that particular moment. She pushed and encouraged us to follow our dreams, rarely imposing herself on big decisions we had to make on our own. Dinners were almost always home-cooked. Birthday cakes were always baked from scratch. She handmade every Halloween costume taking on some major challenges along the way. Christmas and Chanukah were beautiful.

It wasn't until I was about 17 when I realized why she chose to be that mother. The one who was involved, present and watched over us like a hawk. On a road trip to look at colleges, she opened up up about her relationship with her mother which was strained to say the least. My grandmother never recovered from losing my Grandfather on the front line in Russia during World War II and that contributed significantly to my mother experiences during her early childhood. Over a 20 piece box of Dunkin Donuts munchkins, Mami confessed to me she knew she would always do motherhood completely differently.

A million memories are flooding my mind now and I know this will not be the last time I reach into this vault. How lucky am I to have this beautiful, strong, loving woman as my role model. I will be forever grateful and know without a doubt that she will approach the job as grandma or Omi (or whatever she wants to be called) with the same love. That child will be loved with every ounce of her being and there is no doubt they will feel it from the first time they meet.

I love you so much, Mami! You have my heart.

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