I’ve previously mentioned that I grew up in and out of my mom’s house. I lived with her from the time I was a baby until the 2nd grade when I went to live in a foster home. Then I went home for a couple of years, then a shelter for kids like me and then another foster home. Then home for couple months, back to the shelter, another foster home and then I was done. I didn’t want another foster home and I didn’t want to live at home. I didn’t do it gracefully, but I made my own way.
All of those years I just wanted normal. I wanted to live in one house, I wanted my parents to drive cars that worked, I wanted a refrigerator full of food. I wanted a mom that came to my school concerts and have after school snacks for me. I never wished for a big fancy house or fancy vacations. I just wanted my mom.
I want to say that over the years my mom made it to some of my concerts or other events. I do remember a picnic that she went too and there may have been more that she was there for, but I can’t remember in any detail her being at any other events. I was in track from 7th grade through all 4 years of college. I don’t think she ever saw me throw.
After a lifetime of her not being there, I did not want her there. I didn’t invite her to high school gradation, my wedding, college graduation, to see my first child. I went years without speaking to her or having any relationship with her. I didn’t want to build a relationship with my mom, I didn’t want one…it was easier to ignore her than deal with all the hurt and baggage that was our relationship.
Lots of years have passed since then. My mom is in my life again. I let go of a lot of anger and I forgave. We are doing the best we can.
Those things I wanted were something my mom was not able to give me. I was mad for a long time, but time healed those wounds. Without sharing with you my process of healing, I did come to understand why things happened the way they did. Her life was not easy, she did try. But life is messy and it is hard sometimes and too often it was overwhelming. I know that she wanted to be the mom I wanted her to be.
When I found out I was pregnant with my oldest daughter I was scared to death. I was so afraid I would be a bad mom. It was a hard time for me, I wanted my mom and I did not want my mom. I was scared. But the minute I held that baby girl in my arms, all was right in my world and I became exactly what I was supposed to me…her mom.
With all the background I want to share something. It may seem mundane or run of the mill; but it was a very rewarding mom moment. Before I was a mom and before she was a teenager, I thought those moments I was waiting for were gradations and medal ceremonies. But those moments I was waiting for are the moments that make up my days.
I have six kids now and finding one on one time with each of them can be a challenge. For my oldest and I, track has always been our thing. I’ve coached her in throws since she was 8 or 9 years old. We spent summers traveling all of the midwest going to track meets so she could compete.
Last Tuesday, she had a great day. She had been struggling in the shot put; but I went to her practice the day before helped her with her technique. The day of the meet, she barely made finals and was mad. I know what to say to her to get her going, we talked and she went and threw her first throw in finals and it was a big throw. A personal record by over 4 feet. She actually looked at me like, what did he (the guy marking) just say? But she had this huge smile on her face and she was looking right at me. She was in disbelief, I told her what her mark was and she hugged me. Now get this, she is a teenager….in high school and she hugged me…in front of people….and did not pull away.
I was pretty caught up in the meet and was busy texting my husband. But later that night, I was smiling from ear to ear. I was so happy I got to be there. Happy because the memory of that smile on her face is permanently burned into my memory. Happy because she hugged me. She was happy and she wanted to be happy with me. Those are the moments people. Those are the moments I live for. I love being a mom. I love being there.