Recently my wonderful and beloved mother made a comment. She had heard of a family tradition another family had around Christmas. She apologized that she had never done anything ‘creative’ like that. Then she said “I guess I can only be me.”
I can easily dispute the first part of her comment. We may not have had that same family tradition as the other family but my mother has always encouraged creativity. She baked with us. Bread, cookies, dinners. I was cooking by myself in grade school. Every Christmas-eve morning we made Christmas tarts as a family. As a parent I can’t imagine it was pleasant or fun for my mom and dad as we all ran around hopped up on sugar and adrenaline and ‘helped’ them.
She taught us to sew. Crochet, knitting, tatting, cross stitch and quilting. I designed and made my own outfit and wore it to church when I was 10. All because she taught and encouraged me.
We always had papers, crayons, pencils, and even markers and paint, which I won’t let my kids touch, with which to draw and write. Every Halloween our masterpieces of haunted houses and spooky cats hung all over the house. Not only did she encourage it, she celebrated it. She let us find our own talents, our own preferences, then let us loose to do our own thing.
Regarding the second part, in her infinite wisdom, my mom got down to what was most important. We can only be ourselves. It’s so easy for us to compare to others. I had hoped I’d grow out of it someday but it appears we may always be doing it. The thing is, I can’t imagine my mother being different. There’s no way she could be better, and if she had been different, I would be different.
Like my mom, I, too, need to accept that I can only be me, and be happy about that. Stop worrying that I’m not enough, that I should be doing more, different.
Because all I can be is me, and that is plenty good.