All teenage girls have dreams. Some think about getting married and having children, some about traveling the world, some about that perfect career. My mom was no different, I am sure.
I didn’t exactly enter her life at the most opportune time. Whatever those dreams she had were, she put them on hold the moment she found out I was growing inside her.
I can only imagine what was going through her head while I was growing in her belly. Surely she experienced a range of emotions – fear, anger, doubt, joy, disappointment, wonder…
I can only imagine what she felt, but I know what she did. She grew up. Overnight. She started loving me, and she put her dreams and ambitions aside and gave her life to her new family – my dad and me, later to be joined by two more sisters.
Maybe my mom wanted to be a teacher. Maybe an artist. Maybe a counsellor. Maybe she wanted to be a therapist or the owner of her own bakery. Maybe she wanted something more vague – to make a difference in the world, to change things, or to make a name for herself.
She became all of these things and more.
She may not have taught school in a classroom, but I learned more from her than any other woman in my life. She taught in many ways – conversations, by example, stories. She taught me things that matter in life. What to do when your best friend is mean to you. How to handle a teacher that is being unfair. The importance of a relationship with God.
My mother is creative. She sings and writes songs. She draws. She paints. I have seen glimpses of this talent, and can only imagine how talented she would be if she had more time to devote to these things. She is an artist.
And, boy, is she ever a counsellor and a therapist. Anyone who has raised daughters understands the need for a good mother to play these roles. I can remember so many times going to my mom crying about one thing or another, and amazingly, she always knew whether to talk to me or just let me talk while she hugged me. And she never made me feel like what I going through wasn’t important.
Anyone who knows my mom knows she is famous for her chocolate chip cookies. They are, by far, the best cookies in the world. She may not have a bakery, but she gets requests all the time for a batch of one of her delicious cookies.
My mom has lived a life so far that she should be proud of. She has touched lives in all the places she has lived. She has influenced people and ministered to them. Two of her greatest gifts are empathy and generosity, and there are people from coast to coast who would testify of that because they have experienced it in one way or another.
Now she has finished raising my sisters and me. We are all grown up, so my mom finally has time to pursue what ever she wants. She can choose to do anything. And what has she chosen? Once again, she chose family. My mom, after raising three girls and sacrificing her own dreams for all those years, chose to give up everything once again to help me raise my kids.
I know there are things she wants to do, but she decided instead to let Max stay with her while I work until he starts school. She decided to pick Kendra up from school every day and start the whole cycle of after school snacks and homework all over again.
My mom’s choices to devote herself entirely to her family have made me who I am today. And I’m so thankful that my own children are going to have that same consistent, godly influence in their lives. Not because my mom has to, but because she chose to.
Mom may have had big dreams as a teenager, but I’d like to think that she is proud of the life she has lived so far. Her name, no matter where you go and who you ask, brings people thoughts of fairness, kindness, and love. My mom is a genuinely good person. I couldn’t do half of what I do without her. I depend on her. And I love her.