The pressure to be perfect can weigh heavy, especially on a mother. That amount of pressure never came from you because you never attempted to prove to me (or anyone) that being perfect was a part of life. You allowed me to not only see your mistakes, but understand them. You never hid failure, which only made your successes more powerful. You let me see you cry. I’ve seen you get frustrated. I’ve watched you struggle. You never forced me to do sports or dancing. You allowed me to choose but never to quit. You never made me feel like I was wrong, even if you politely told me I wasn’t right. You never gossiped! Not only did you teach me about imperfections, but more importantly, you never pointed out those of others. You let me learn about the struggles of life through my own personal experiences, rather than using others’ misfortunes as an example. You let me fall in love, even when you knew I’d fall on my face. You didn’t always tell me to immediately get up after I got knocked down. You were there to pick me up, dry my tears, and assure me it would be OK. You never told me “I told you so.” You helped me embrace my mistakes instead of just correcting them. You proved that weaknesses can grow into strengths, and that strengths can sometimes become your weaknesses. You taught me that mistakes were bound to happen, and righting a wrong was the only way to grow.
The house was never spotless. The laundry was always out of control. Our school uniforms weren’t ironed every day. The beds were rarely made. We were normally 20 minutes late to everything. The bills weren’t always paid on time. Your hair wasn’t always fixed. Your make-up was bare minimum. You always cut my bangs crooked. The grass was sometimes overgrown. You usually blamed your loud gas on an invisible bullfrog. Our grades weren’t always A’s. Our homework wasn’t always turned in on time. You sometimes raised your voice. Every so often, you made empty threats. You never enforced our bedtime. You let us watch R-rated movies when we were probably too young. We didn’t always make it to church every Sunday. We ate fast food when you didn’t feel like cooking. Occasionally, you took a brief midday nap when you felt overwhelmed. And just once, you actually caused a small grease fire when you accidentally left the stove on. You made mistakes. We all do. Because of you allowing me to recognize mistakes instead of shaming them, I don’t feel pressured to be perfect either. In truth, Mom, you raised me in an imperfect world. Through all the non-perfect things you’ve done in your lifetime … you made one hell of a perfect mom.
I’m so thankful to have had you as a guide through life and motherhood. Thank you for owning your faults, apologizing when you are wrong, and always reminding me that “accidents happen.”
With all my (imperfect) love,