I am lucky to have been able to take my time appreciating her. Many people lose one or both of their parents at a much younger age than I. My mother’s health has given me time to grow up and know her as a woman and a friend in addition to being my mother. She offers valuable perspective on any issue I have in life. Her motherly love waits for my need, but she treats me with respect and dignity as well. A nice balance.
Some friends of mine have parents who are demanding or needy, making it hard to see them as people rather than parents. I am lucky both my parents are independent and continue to grow in wisdom and love.
I am foolish to allow myself even the smallest complacency in appreciating my mother. I feel an urgency about getting to know her as well as I can. There are times when we have clicked like old buddies, cackling at childish jokes, but I fumble at such closeness. It feels too new and unusual coming from the woman who has always been the “parent”.
A gay man and his mother have a particular bond. There is a unique closeness possible because another woman doesn’t enter into his life as a wife might, so his mother can remain and become a very close female friend, one who knows him inside and out. I have seen that friendship blossom timidly between us, but formality still reigns and I keep the distance necessary to maintain that. She is available but I am not. And she is OK with that. Our closeness only goes as far as I can handle. I wish I could let it go further, but that’s OK, too.
I am a lucky fool.
Happy Birthday Mom. Do you have any good dirty jokes to tell?