I'm quickly approaching the seven year mark of when my mom passed away. I can hardly believe it- it seems likes just yesterday I would pick up the phone every morning and dial her 417 number. From the time I got pregnant with my first son until she died, I spoke to my momma almost every day. Simple stuff really- upcoming travels (she HATED when I flew), Bubba's events (especially sports), how hubs and I were navigating marriage... Nothing was off limits. I told her EVERYTHING- every fear, every insecurity, every joy. She taught me to accept differences, give the benefit of the doubt and believe in the goodness of others. In few words.... Unconditional love. TRY to be accepting when it's hard. TRY to love those you struggle with. And most importantly.. trust yourself. I still hear her voice, feel her hand on mine, see her pride. I don't have all the answers - I didn't take Love and Logic or Parents as Teachers. But I know this: my boys will ALWAYS feel unconditional, non-obligatory, complete love from me until the day I die. They will walk his earth knowing whatever choices or mistakes they make I will be unwavering in my commitment to them. That is the most important aspect of parenting to me. The rest has a beautiful way of working it's way out!
(OH - and by extension, my girlie (aka daughter in law) will have the same level of commitment and respect. My bubs chose her to be his life partner so she gets my unconditional love as well. I've even warned him ~ you guys don't work out, you better know she isn't ever going anywhere! She's officially part of our herd!!)