Mother’s Day: A Day for Reflection
Most people spend Mother’s Day bestowing flowers, gifts and heartfelt sentiments upon their moms. But for some, knowing how to honor their mother is not so easy. After all, mothers are only human, and not all of them are perfect.
Take it from Keith L.T. Alexander, author of the new coming-of-age memoir “Forgery-of-the-Month Club,” which details his difficult relationship with his mom. Unable to make ends meet, his mother Anita became a con-artist, a master at theft, mail fraud and art forgery. In doing so, she implicated her son in different schemes throughout his childhood and adolescence, setting him on a potentially self-destructive path in life.
Now with a daughter of his own and his mom a grandmother, Alexander believes that forgiveness and love are important for moving forward, no matter your complaints about the past. In time for Mother’s Day, he is offering four considerations to make when thinking about your own mother:
• Your mother is an adult who makes her own choices. To judge or criticize her is a choice you are making, which can come at a cost to your relationship. Work to let go of any fear, anger, resentment and cynicism that hold you back from improving your relationship.
• The primary influence on your point of view of your relationship with your mother is your childhood experiences and the feelings you associated with those memories. Coming to terms with those feelings can help you move forward.
• Your point of view about your mother is not the “truth.” No matter how much evidence you can present or how many people agree with you, you have chosen a point of view which is only one of many ways to view your mother.
• Consider what kind of relationship you would have with your mother if you could recreate it differently: What would it be like? How would it feel?
“Now that I have children of my own, I have learned that the secret to being a good father is to be around and available to your child — not simply for the recitals, and soccer games, but for the unplanned, spontaneous moments, the opportunities to show love to your child,” says Alexander. “Those unexpected moments strung together throughout a child’s upbringing are part of what makes up the spine of a child’s self-confidence, and ultimately what influences his or her future.”
Whether your mother has a tendency to nag you or a tendency to implicate you in her major crimes, consider forgiving her for her faults this Mother’s Day.