My Mother's Charge

“If it’s not one thing, it’s your mother.”----Old psychotherapy joke. 

My mother was ever clear about her responsibilities: 
Honor your parents. 
Do your chores. 
Meet this man, marry him, and follow him across the ocean. 
Help your husband. 
Raise your son, and teach him right.

She always knew her responsibilities, and was happy to remind you of yours. 

Nobody’s perfect, Mom, my teenaged self told her, more than once. 
I’ve always said you could be, she replied, more than once. 

And I still hear her voice, so many years after her passing: critical, sardonic, humorous, serious, demanding, encouraging. 

And we were neither of us surprised that I never achieved perfection. Nor did I wind up in years of therapy. 

Because she didn’t really expect perfection. Instead, she called me to my better self. 

Do something. Learn from it. Do it better. Don’t settle.

--Ken M, Adult