I caught a portion of the Tiger Woods mea culpa extravaganza this past Friday. I sort of found his words to be void of any real meaning and his flat affect left me a bit puzzled, but the aspect that resonated most with me was at the end when his mother embraced him. She later made some comment to the effect that she loves and supports her son regardless of his shortcomings.
I'll admit that when I first saw her embrace him with this huge smile I was bothered. I thought to myself, "He cheated and lied and betrayed his wife and kids. What is she still doing hugging him, grinning ear to ear?" It bothered me enough that I chewed on it the rest of the day.
But then it hit me. She's his mother. She likely doesn't condone what he did, she's likely disappointed in his actions, yet she most definitely still loves him. Isn't that the way it should be? I tried to imagine my son 30 years from now making a mistake of that magnitude (I pray to God, he never does) and what my reaction would be. I'd be unbelievably disappointed and he would know this, yet I wouldn't stop loving him or stop supporting and encouraging him.
I think it's easy to love your kids when they are good or successful, but it's just as important to love them when they make mistakes or fail. Love shouldn't be conditional and a mother's love (and a father's) is really one of the last types of loves that truly exemplifies this (or at least should). So, in retrospect when I think of Tiger's mother embracing him it's really quite beautiful and speaks volumes about a mother's love for her son.