Mother’s Day

Many of us are so fortunate to have children. I have one daughter, she’s 23, grown and living in Sweden at the moment. I am so incredibly proud of all that she’s accomplished in her life thus far.

We always wonder what our children think of us. We know they roll their eyes and we often hear “I know mom!” Well today my daughter did a posting on what she thought. I wanted to share it with the world. (Although I think I am practically perfect in every way)

From my daughter Laura Rose Fennell

This Mother’s Day I saw many (MANY) friends of mine declaring to the world that their mother was “the best mom ever.” This being largely credited to various forms of social networking, of course. But I have always heard this specific phrase and I’ve always just had to smile at it. I’m guilty of uttering those words as well. But I’m here to make a confession:

My mom is not perfect. Perhaps even a bit far from it. A few examples of this would be my enormous sailor’s mouth (which I did not inherit from my Pops), the endless “stubborn matches” she and I have had over the last ten years (with no real end in sight), her temper (which, as Joakim has sadly discovered, I may have acquired as well), she wasn’t able to join many field trips when I was a kid, and she has the WORST eyesight (another trait which my genes chose not to forgo).

And over the years, she and I have got into some pretty bad arguments that were at an octave I deem too high to admit. Despite these momentary disagreements and copious eye rolling (perhaps on both our parts), no one has the ability to calm me down enough to actually have a conversation when all I want to do is scream (or sob).

She’s always on her toes, ready to hop in the car for a 9-hour drive up the coast or even a plane across the world to see me if I even remotely need her. She’s offered to drive me out to a field of orange groves on a school night so I could just scream and feel ALLOWED to be angry and frustrated for a minute in all my 16 years.

After a a full day of work and a full evening of culinary school in downtown Los Angeles, she would come home at 1:00 a.m., sneak into my room, sit on the edge of my bed, and pet my shoulder. Despite working, attending school, and commuting 2.5 hours every day of the week, she would stay up to make sure I was okay because she hadn’t received a response to her text messages that day. And it was in these moments that I realized she didn’t join many field trips (maybe one total?) when I was young because she had always worked full time to make sure I had absolutely everything I needed to be the student I could be.

She not only wanted me to be a committed student, but a free thinker. When I was 15-years-old, I discovered my first grade report card in her closet. I had always been a straight A (or nearly straight A) student but was miffed to find a D- on that ancient report card. I had failed Bible Class. For those of you who don’t know, I attended private school all my life because my parents wanted me to have the best education possible (in our very unsafe home city) despite their complete lack of religious affiliation. When I confronted my mom to ask why I got a D-, she said, “They required the parents to participate in the Bible homework as well. They required that I force you to memorize my favorite verses. I’m certainly not going to be forced to believe something that I just don’t, and I won’t lie to my child and let her think I believe it or she must believe it herself. I let you choose. You chose not to.”

This is the same mom who called my preschool in a blind rage because they sent me home in tears flashing those 8×11″ laminated images from the Old Testament, one including people burning and melting in hell, held high so all the 4-year-olds could revel in it. My mom might be on to something.

So when I complain about her temper, I know I could have it a lot worse–I could have a passive mom who lets me “win” to avoid conflict. My mom is passionate and stands her ground and wants me to do the same. And yeah, swearing is a side effect of that. (Dammit, Mom!)

Occasionally, my mom has been a subject of frustration in my journals over the years. But I don’t tell her enough how much I love her and how her unique, incredibly strong and beautiful being inspires me to be a better woman every day.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. I sure love you.

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