SPECIAL: Mother's Day 2020

Whether your mom held your hand the second you entered this world or your mother reached her arms out for you at a certain age, one thing is for sure, you will always be apart of her life and you will always mean the world to her.

There's a special bond between a mother and child that, I believe, the dictionary has no words for. It's a feeling. This deep, cosmic connection that can only be felt. Maybe it's because the first thing we ever heard was her voice. There's a familiarity and contentment in her tone that offers comfort and seems to lower our blood pressure and console us.

I grew up being a mommy's girl. I'm not talking about playing dress-up, having tea parties, or having a mani/pedi spa day. I was more of a tomboy. So was my mother. I think a lot of that has to do with how she grew up and then how she raised me. Thinking back to my childhood though, I do remember the days she'd get ready and I'd just sit and watch as she sprayed half a bottle of AquaNet to keep her hair in place. Line her eyes with eyeliner and add some mascara. To finish off, she'd spritz on her favorite scent, that to this day, sends me straight back to that bathroom when I get a whiff of it. I'd say I have several memories that I hold close and that bring a smile to my face but not many.

Like every family, there were ups and downs. Unfortunately, substance abuse became the norm for my mother. We often moved living in and out of motels, apartments, and my grandmother's house. There were fewer and fewer days that brought smiles. I grew up fast at the tender age of six and found myself now taking care of my mom. This lasted a year and a half before CPS intervened. My world, even though not healthy at the time, fell apart and I was devastated when we were separated.

Fast forward years later. My mother and I stayed in contact through the occasional phone calls and writing letters. I cried every time we had to say goodbye after a call and I clung to all her letters that she'd sent telling me over and over again how much she loved me. I encouraged her to get clean and do what she needed to do to stay healthy every chance I got.

Our relationship has changed throughout my life and has helped shape me into the person I am today. This is only a snip bit of my existence but it is one that, even though it was difficult, I wouldn't change. Even though there was heartache, I knew deep down the love my mother had for me was always there. I always had a roof over my head every night. I always had something to eat, even if it wasn't a full meal.

Today my mother and I maintain communication with boundaries and over the years she's communicated her sincere regret for how things played out. Lots of therapy, love, and support has helped us grow close once again.

I love my mom. Always have, always will.

There's no cookie-cutter childhood. No book with exact instructions on how to raise a child. A mother will always try her best even when she's falling short. It's the kisses, the hugs, the cheers, and the I love you's that get us through the tough times. 

To every mama:
You may feel like you have no idea what you're doing or at times you are not good enough. The days are long and the nights are even longer. The fridge might not be fully stocked and the dirty laundry's piling in the hamper. It's ok. Don't beat yourself up about it. There are twenty-four hours in a day but that doesn't mean you have to cram everything on your to-do-list into it. You get eighteen years with your kids before they most likely leave the nest to begin their adult lives. When you factor in work, school, and extracurricular activities that time seems to fly by. Thirteen summers isn't a lot of time once kindergarten starts. So, make the most of each and every day with your child(ren). It's never too late to start. Make memories. Laugh. Read and tell them stories. Say, "I love you", a million times a million plus one! You are their superhero no matter what!
Give yourself a pat on the back for being the best, You, these past 365 days and know that you are beautiful. You are special. You are more than enough. You are an overcomer.

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