When i was very young and into my teenage years I had a certain perception of my parents that they were very dysfunctional. My childhood did not offer me the societal norms (at that time less than 30% of couples were divorced) of two parents who were not only role models but there to guide you and direct you. I often joke it was like being raised by wolves, kind of wild and dangerous even though we had a den mother. My parents were both hippies and my father was a professional artist before he became a contractor, but since I was very young I felt an enormous pressure to direct myself without a lot of guidance. This made it hard for me to have an adult role model, until my mother passed away.
My mother died very young and suffered a very long and slow death from cancer, leaving my sister and I very vulnerable when we needed her, especially as we became teenagers.
I was blessed to have a close friends mother step in and take on much of the mothering I needed.
She has acted as an” honorary mother“ for so many years, that she now has been like a mother longer than my own mother. She has been with me as a teenager, a young adult, a single and very lost young woman, a new mother, a new bride, a divorcee, an entrepreneur (multiple endeavors), through so many good decisions and equally careless and reckless ones.
What has been the most constant theme in this relationship is her ability to not judge, she listens, and she redirects me when I am headed in the wrong direction, often letting me fail knowing that I must learn and recover. I aspire to have that kind of grace and love without judgement, of others, and mainly for my own child. She has known and experienced my pain, but only gives me positive feedback so that I could go forward with hope and confidence. I know now as a mother to a young child, I will not always do the right thing in my life, we all must make mistakes, but what I do want for my child is for her to aspire to someone, and I want that to be me. Not for her to be me, or do what I do, but for me to offer her something to look towards, to model after, and if I can come even close to the role model I had, I would have given her something and someone to aspire to, which is living in grace and looking at her without judgment.