Editor’s note: Today, we welcome a guest contribution from author and mother Ellen Mongan. While originally written for Mother’s Day, this post is sure to inspire all of us any day of the year to be more appreciative of the moms in our lives! Lisa Hendey
“Mirror, mirror on the wall, I am my mother after all!” The truth is that somewhere between birth and middle age, I became my mother. If someone had said, when in my teens, “You’re just like your mother,” I would have debated them and won. Now, I just smile. Maybe you have become your mother too!
“You cannot have too many shoes or too many friends.” Even though I love both shoes and friends, I do not put equal value on both. Shoes come and go, but true friends are a treasure that you can enjoy for a lifetime. So what do shoes and friends have to do with Mother’s Day?
Do you remember when you were a little girl, playing dress-up in your mommy’s closet? You found her favorite pair of high heels, and you just had to try them on. In your mind you thought they fit just fine. You felt so grown up, as you wobbled around your mom’s room. You felt like a lady. As you glanced down at the heel, you realized you had a ways to grow to fit into your mommy’s shoes. You feared that maybe they would never fit. Years have passed and maybe your mom passed that pair of high heels down to you. As you put them on, they fit just fine. You feel like a lady every time you put them on. As you walk around your room, you smile remembering being that little girl in her mommy’s high heels. You are so glad when your toddler daughter picks the same pair of heels to wear, when she goes in your closet and wants to play dress up. She too thinks they fit just fine! As she wobbles around your room, she feels all grown up, just like a lady. As she looks down at the heel she also realizes they are a might too big. She gazes into your eyes and asks, “Mommy will these pretty shoes ever fit me?” You smile and answer, “You have a ways to go darling, but one day those shoes are going to fit just fine.” You know these words are true because that is what your mom told you. Moms have a way of instilling high hopes in their daughter’s hearts. You add with a smile, “One day those high heel shoes are going to be yours.” She smiles.
As you walk down the road of motherhood and maturity, you pass on to your daughter more than a pretty pair of shoes. You pass down your beliefs, fashion tips, recipes, character traits, wisdom and most importantly, your love. It is a motherhood rite of passage that is proudly handed down to daughters, generation after generation. Moms know that some things will be accepted and some rejected, but moms pass it down anyways. Part of being an adult is carving out your own way of doing things. Part of being a mother is teaching your child to fly, then let go and watch them soar like an eagle. Another part is becoming your grown-up daughter’s friend, yet never forgetting you are a mom forever.
Your first home on this earth was in the body of your mother, right under her heart. While hidden inside her, you began to get to get to know each other. You were dependent on her for your life. Then D-Day comes: “Delivery Day.” The adventure of a lifetime begins. You are birthed and mom is full of joy. Her mother’s heart began to grow when you were placed in her arms and she never wanted to let go. Daily you grew and learned. You smiled, mommy rejoiced! You cooed, mommy applauded! The miracle of life was unfolding before her eyes.
Then one day you become a toddler. You now have your own ideas; lots of ideas! You figure it is time to take over. The journey toward independence has begun. You say in your best toddler voice, “I’m the Mom!” You secretly find ways to be in charge and give mom the pink slip. You practice the words, “You’re fired!”
You grow from toddlerhood to elementary school, and then to middle school. You have learned to listen, respect and obey your mom. Time flies and you enter high school. Finally as an “adult,” you are convinced you know more than your mom. Your teen vision begins to reveal your mom’s faults, all of them. Once you thought she was perfect, now she is on top of the list of irritating people. You scrutinize everything she does, the words she uses, the decisions she makes, and even the clothes she wears. Sometimes you are even embarrassed to be seen with her. Time goes by and your ledger is overflowing. You have observed, analyzed, and come to the conclusion that you will never do things like your mother did. You will definitely do a much better job. You tell yourself, “I will be the perfect mother, with the perfect children, the perfect husband, and be a perfect housekeeper!”
One day, you fall in love with the man of your dreams. You get married and out of your love for each other you conceive a baby girl, the perfect child. After a few months on the mommy job, pride fills your heart. You say to yourself, “I know I will be the mother of the year!” You secretly believed it was true, but as time passes you get a reality check. You see life happens, like colic, sleepless nights, spit-up on your new silk blouse, and you say thru a yawn, “How did mom do it?” You have grown in wisdom and character. You call your mom, thanking her profusely. On Mother’s Day you buy the card that puts into words the appreciation that now lives in your heart. You have come to see all the sacrifices your mom made for you. You throw away the ledger and your judgmental attitude, and replace it with a journal of your favorite memories of growing up. You take pictures of mom often and develop an attitude of acceptance and love, realizing you have “Very big shoes to fill!” You decide you want to be just like your mother one day. The high heels fit just fine!
Have you thanked your mom lately, daughters? Not only for giving your life, but also for the life lessons she taught? It takes a lot of growing up to fit into your mom’s high heels. Once they fit you can wear them with a smile that says, “I love you mom!” One day you will have the same joy of watching your baby girl walk in your high heels. Once her shoes fit she will wear them with pride and a smile on her face that says, “I love you mom!” One day she will pass those same high heels on down to a daughter of her own. She, like all mothers before her, will wait patiently until those shoes fit just fine!
Ellen Mongan is a freelance writer and speaker and the founder of Little Pink Dress Ministry, Women fest Conferences, Sisters in Christ Ministry, Mom’s Best Wisdom Ministry, and The Titus II Crew.
Image and text copyright 2015 Ellen Mongan