It’s a funny thing, this motherhood role. It’s a fine old mix of worry and happiness. Did I do enough? Was I a good mom? Is she going to look back with regret? Silly, I’m sure but I am a true full-fledged worrier. Wearing my feelings on my sleeve throughout my life has always worn on me to some degree I guess.
But today is a banner day!
Today I celebrate the strengths and goodness in my daughter for today on November 3, in the year 1993, life changed in so many ways. In came a joy and a contentment that I never knew could have been possible. Pushed aside, for the moment, the drama leading up to and and following her arrival. I am ever grateful for her presence in my life. It was a role that I loved and still do. I can’t wait to see what her life has in store for her.
It’s an unbelievably amazing bond for a parent. I relished EVERY single, solitary second of motherhood. I guess that’s why I could never quite get my head around my ex’s inability to step up to the plate and be the kind of father a kid could look up to. Each step, big or small for me, in the time since has been peppered with an internal messaging system. Is this the right thing to do? How will this affect her? Am I guilty of over-analyzing things…probably. But it’s my way and the only way that I know. Along with it come the worries. Those I have to learn to deal with. The ability to make a decision and then adopt a hands-off approach as the events unfold has always been…ahem…a challenge for me. I’ve never been one not to look back and say what could I have done differently. Thankfully, I’ve learned to be a bit better on that one now…but it’s still a milestone that I must clear.
Enough about me. Today is a mixed bag of promise and whimsical reflection for me…lol. I love being mom to this kid! She’s got a heart of gold and a great disposition! Sometimes it’s been hard to step back and give her the space and time to make her own mistakes along the way, but this last few years I’ve been making a conscious effort . Repeating the mantra to myself…”she’s not a baby anymore, she’s growing up”. But it’s tough to let go, and I’m sure that I’m not the only mom that’s ever ‘fessed up to this. It’s okay, I’m a work in progress. No denying it.
I remember the times that I took her skating as a little one. These were amazing times, but difficult too. I skated but she on the other hand had different ideas. Her idea of skating was mom carrying her while mom skated. Yes, a little hard on the old back for mom, but it was still time together. I treasured those moments and still do.
Always a lover of animals and never one to exclude any type of animal from that love, our home has had a steady parade of prized pets over the years. The first pet ever was Sammy, the guinea pig. When I asked around before getting the “pig”, I was told the life expectancy is usually about 2-3 years. Well good old Sammy lived to the ripe old age of 5 1/2. What a sad day that was. The crocodile tears, the tear-stained noted left gently in the shoe-box and the laying to rest of her beloved “pig”. Emotional and good to learn the life’s lesson of letting go. Although, I’ve got to tell you that the digging of her final resting place in the construction type debris that lay just below our sod was just a little bit challenging. In our house, we’ve had goldfish (three), guinea pig, cats (two), dog, and not leastly, a mouse. Just a note, this mouse was a dear family pet, not the type of mouse that you discover has gotten into your cereal cupboard. He was caged and well-behaved; travelling about a thousand miles on his little wheel. If I close my eyes and imagine, there are sometimes in the night where I can still hear that wheel a’turnin’. He always was a nocturnal little pain in the neck…lol.
Aside from the critter love that has been interwoven in her life, there are other loves. The love of dance, books, music (almost every type), photography, friends and just people in general. If I do say so myself, I find her to be a pleasant, well-rounded individual. She’s never been one to shy away from doing things to make people feel special either. I was fortunate to have such an amazing kid when the early years were such an emotional jumble with her father. I’m grateful each and every day that I’ve had her by my side. It’s been an adventure, not in a bad way tho’.
Her love of music and singing has been a part of her since she was old enough to talk. Since then she’s rounded out her musical repertoire with the ability to read music and play the guitar. Her love of her guitar came from her step-dad’s influence, not mine. I always thought the guitar must be about the hardest instrument to learn. I mean, really, who can get their hands comfortably reaching and holding down the strings properly? Anytime that I’ve tried, my hands instantly go into “cramp-mode” and I’m done. Not this kid tho’. She’s got the littlest hands but yet she’s able to breeze through the chording like she’s been doing it for years. I guess in retrospect, she has. She’s into about her ninth year playing. She’s been known to help out at church and community functions lending her vocal talents and guitar for the crowds. Proud mama moment….sniff, sniff.
Can you tell I love talking about my kid? I probably should have had more kids to round out my mother experience…however that was not a card that was dealt to me. This is the one, single child that I have to sing praises for…lol…and believe-you-me, I have and continue to do so.
Her talents and skills aside, she has a side of her that is simply sublime. About two years ago, we started fund-raising, through various community and church events, for her and a friend to go to Ecuador on a missions trip where they would participate in a school-building project in one community and a clean water project in another.
Pictured below is the volunteer group in front of the school addition that was being built. Another proud mama moment…lol. Wearing their contentment in helping and their dust on their clothes like a banner. I’m proud of each and every one of them!
Below is a recent photo of the addition that’s almost done. Subsequent volunteer trips have worked on the project throughout the summer months and it’s close to being ready for students.
Moving forward, I can’t wait to see what her life has in store for her. I’m just vicariously hangin’ on for the ride as her mother…lol. Our kids hold such joie de vivre in their hearts and in their hands. It’s refreshing for us old folks I guess. We get to bear witness to their pure love for all things new.
For now, I’ll close with this.
To all the other moms out there. May your life be filled with enough blessings to make you happy and enough challenges to always allow you to remember how fortunate you are. Our children are our future and our joy. Hats off to all of you! Your mom-ship comes with many sacrifices along the way. Many will say that they’d happily do-over for the sake of their kids. And that my friends, makes a mom.
To my little one, you’ve grown in many ways. You’ve enriched my life in ways. So many, in fact, that you may not ever grasp. It’s been both a delight and a blessing to have had you by my side as we’ve travelled our paths through life so far. May your dreams and hopes come true! Happy 19th!
As far as the worries go. They’ll probably never go away. It’s a mothers lot in life and darn it all, it’s our child-given right to worry about them.
And as Erma Bombeck so aptly put it, it may not take me very far but it’ll give me something to do.