My Mother's Selflessness

I think my mother put herself on hold as she was raising us. She put us first, always; and she was second. I remember one time when I was little, we were having dinner and there was one small succulent piece of chicken left, and we both reached for it, then she gave it to me without hesitation. I knew she wanted it, but genuinely wanted me to have it more.  Her desire for it vanished the moment I expressed a desire for it. I don't want to minimize her devotion or sound ungrateful. That was always something that astounded me - that very authentic selflessness. There was no guilt in that chicken moment - it was one thing she truly felt - we should have more than she ever could have. This was a consistent theme throughout our childhood and eventually it became a source of guilt - we were ungrateful if we didn't appreciate all she sacrificed, but it was impossible to properly appreciate something so intangible and grand. And in the end it wasn't good for her. She was unhappy. She is still unhappy.

So now I'm raising my own children. Last night we made chocolate covered strawberries. The kids and I happily munched away.  When there was one left, my daughter (mouth still stuffed) reached for it. My son said "Let's leave that one for Mommy."  My mother's selflessness washed over me. I recognized that genuine desire to watch my child eat it, even if I wanted it.  But doing that would have negated my son's kindness and encouraged my daughter's gluttony. So I thanked him and ate the last strawberry. There has to be a balance. Being a mother first does not have to mean putting yourself second. 

Fallflower Fallflower
41-45, F
35 Responses Feb 9, 2010

Aw you guys are awesome. Thank you.

This is a great story, Fallflower. The title of the group DOES suit your story. You taught your children to share and you taught them selflessness. These are life lessons that will serve your children more than having an extra strawberry-well done!!!!!

My wife is always first. My sons knew that it would be the start of WW III if I ever discovered that they treated her as second to themselves.<br />
<br />
great story<br />

Thank you so much Destry!

Thank you booklover :) I still like the title of the group.