All My Mothers

My mother was truly awe-inspiring, in all senses of the word. I respected her for her sharp mind, but her tongue was equally sharp. As I age, I fear my tongue has a genetic connection to her. (Here’s hoping it’s only the prednisone talking.)
Around the age of three, I began my escape into other people’s homes, and my adoption by surrogate mothers who loved or at least liked me and never ripped me to shreds verbally. Even as an adult, I gravitated toward women with a gentle nature, especially those with a genuine maternal kindness of spirit.
I’ve been blessed by the many wonderful women who have taken me under their wing (if that is a cliche, I can’t find another, better way of expressing that feeling). Some are now gone from me: Doris Leitner, her daughter and my “sister” Karen; some were male, my father and uncle Tommy.
Only this year have I come to realize that I damn well better start to mother myself. I had an intermediary stage as a grandmother, during which I indulged in playing with my lovely, delightful grandsons and time-traveling back as my inner play-deprived child.
I know what I have to do, I’m just not quite sure how to do it. I know I have to rid myself of many demons that turn me into an unmothered little girl or pseudo adult.
In the meantime, I can thank those surrogate moms for everything they’ve done, and change my relationship with them back into one of solid friendship, without the neediness. That’s a plan for 2017.

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