Your mom would be so proud of you… it’s a phrase I have been hearing lately and honestly it’s touched upon a lonely echo deep within the confines of my soul. Even though my heart has found it’s healing, an obvious scar remains. I can trace it with my finger tips.
I woke up this morning after a very normal day of school conferences and oddly enough as I was driving home, I had this thought… my mom would be so proud of me. That snowballed into this morning, with tears streaming down my cheeks as I told my husband..
“I wish my mom was here.”
I was caught off guard and surprised by my own tears that seemingly came from nowhere, but I understand by now they always come from somewhere.
“Your mom would be so proud of you.”
I only hear that phrase from those who actually knew my mom. It leaves me desperately wanting to hear those words specifically from her. I have been blessed with many other mom figures, but it seems like there’s a special bond that exists with the woman who birthed you, nursed you, and nurtured you. Then I think, look at all the mother-daughter relationships that are strained. Who is to say that the relationship with my own mom wouldn’t be the same. It’s easy to idealize something that has never existed.
This has, however, got me thinking about what every daughter needs to hear from her mother and what every mother needs to hear from her daughter.
“Mom, I am so proud of you.”
“Daughter, I am so proud of you.”
We say this often in our family, because growing up, I never heard these words. I sometimes say it when my girls do something good or praiseworthy, but I more often say it for no apparent reason at all. I want them to know that I am proud of them no matter what they do or don’t do. I want them to know that I am proud of them, just for who they are. I want them to know that they don’t have to be or do anything special to hear the words, I am proud of you.
Maybe you do have a mom, but still long to hear these words spoken over you. If your mom has never told you that she’s proud of you, it’s only because her own wounds may be hindering her. I would like to say all the things she wishes she could say to you..
“Daughter, I am proud of you,” not for anything you have done, or will do, but just for being you; for showing up, even when you don’t want to. For the tears you’ve cried locked behind that bathroom door. For the plastered on smile that hides your grief or sadness or the sense of feeling completely overwhelmed. “Daughter, I am proud of the mother you have become,” not because you’re perfect, but because you are doing it! I am proud of you even and especially when you are not proud of yourself, because I understand that life is hard and you are doing the best you can.”
Maybe you’re the daughter who struggles to tell her mom..
“Mom, I am so proud of you,” not because you were the perfect mom, but because your mistakes do not define you. I know you did the best you could. I know you’re still trying to do the best you can. I am proud of you for being human. I am proud to be your human, the one you created and gave life to, the one you nurtured into adulthood.”
This is also true for fathers and daughters, mothers and sons. We can all use a little more encouragement along our way. It’s too easy to leave things left unsaid. If a relationship is strained, these words may just open the door for healing in the hearts of those who hear them.