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  • You have never forgiven my many sins. Like the time I made you wait because I wanted to talk with the other ball people at the tennis championships. Or the time Lauren and I snuck out and rode in Ray's car that he 'borrowed' from his mom. You have a treasure trove of these mistakes that you love to unlock and reach into; you delighted in sharing my crimes with my new friends and lovers, people who may have only known the abridged version of my history.
    Now that I am a mother, I know that I don't need your forgiveness. In fact, I now think that it is the parent who should seek if not forgiveness then compassion from their children. How many petty crimes do I commit each day against my darlings? How many times do I ignore them to read the news, or snap at them because of some unrelated stress? I should be teaching them how to be an aware, patient adult who can deal with the daily grind with an open-heart and a good humor. If they rely on me as an authentic example of adulthood, will they look forward to their own progression or perhaps cling to their childhood, terrified of the anxiety and depression that lies ahead?
    Yet having survived your judgments and errors, I now see that I am giving my children an opportunity like you have given me: to forgive and love someone who is fallible, even if they see themselves as otherwise. It is our duty as children to learn to accept our parents as being ordinary human beings and to cherish them for continuing to fight the good fight, even if we don't appreciate their methods.
    So for Mother's Day, I drew you this peony, the flower of riches and honor. I honor you, Mom, warts and all.
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