Sunday, May 11, 2014

Today is Mother's Day!

"What day is today ?
Today is Mother's Day!"
- Full House

To all the moms that rock. We salute you.

But I am here to talk about MY mom.  Usually on this day, we all post an obligatory Facebook status of how our mom is the best and change our profile picture to one of us with her, but I have decided it's really time to talk about why my mom IS the best. 



Now, don't get me wrong, my mother and I have always been close.  Atypically close actually. I never went through that rebellious phase of blaming all of my life's unfortunate events on her, screaming "I HATE YOU!" And slamming the door.

I was wise enough to know my mother was not responsible for any of my minimal teen angst. But I also realized at a young age that had it not been for my mom and dad, I would not have the life I have, or maybe even be here.

As I said, I always loved my mom. I was even told by my friends "your mom is really cool."



 She basically took in a lot of my friends who sometimes needed the extra dose of "mom."  She justified any reason to celebrate or make the most of something. She taught me to not only work hard, but to play hard. 

As I have gotten older however, and am in a relationship, my love and respect for my mother (and both my parents) has deepened to a whole different level.



My mother was younger than I am now when she had me.  And she was even younger, before that, when my dad had a very catastrophic car accident, that left him in a coma and needing to rehab back to full functioning. Her strength, courage and love for him during that time, even though I'm sure it was not easy was the basis for our family to exist.

Now that I care about someone on that level, and having had minimal traumatic events, I cannot even imagine how scared she must have been. 




When I was born, another world of fear and unknowns began. My young parents were on a road of not only having to manage the future of school and "normal kid stuff," but having to learn about IV infusions and dressing changes for their new addition.

but they did. 



Then, eight years later, for our family to be complete, they held their breath, knowing they may need that same strength and courage again.

Thank god they did. 


























As I have mentioned before in this blog, and having heard a lot of other peoples' experiences having a child with a disability or as a young person with a disability, there are a lot of questions I get about "How can I make friends!"  "How can my child be included?"

And my response is usually, "I have no idea, this was never an issue for me!"  While it's true I have always been a pretty outgoing person, it is because of my MOM.  That I have had friends and been in mainstream classes and been fully integrated my whole life. 

I mean, honestly, not only was I included- I was popular! (I realize only now how unique my high school experience really was)

My mother knew me, she knew my abilities and never took no for an answer.

But it wasn't just academic, she let me LIVE my life!  She let me take dance class, and have sleepovers and go to prom and go on road-trips and go away to college.




When some of those things were difficult, she let me fall, and she hugged me and listened when I got back up.  She answered the phone to silent tears my freshman year when I just didn't think I could do it anymore, and she celebrated me 4 years later when we were able to say "I knew you could!"  




















Over the last few years, my relationship with my mother has continued to transform as we became colleagues. We started working on the same grant as I needed someone to travel with me, and the grant needed a family leader representative (check, and check).

I have so many memories of the trips we took together. Once I had moved out, these conferences became our time to reconnect.  We would celebrate each one with sushi or wine and toast to whatever the event would bring.  
We would laugh so hard for no reason,  or debrief into the night about the days events.



After a few years I decided I was ready to start traveling by myself, and my mom's career took a direction of its own, as did mine, and even that was amazing to watch. It was fun to actually meet up at conferences coming from different cities, and I was so proud as I watched my mother accept a national award on behalf of families all over the country (even if she doesn't think she deserves it) 


Now, as I am settled in my studio in the city, and my sister is almost finished college, I have seen another side of my mother, as my parents begin to rediscover themselves and find joy in their time together
It makes me so happy when I see pictures of them playing in the snow like kids, or that they had a date night together.  





It reminds me to value the time I have with the people I love, and to not get caught up in the small stuff.

As I continue down my career path, and as I advocate for my own health and life, I am not even going to try to pretend I do not sound exactly like my mother. Sometimes I say exact phrases I heard her utter over and over when I was younger. 

We all say "oh god I'm becoming my mother!"  And well. I totally am. And well.  I couldn't be happier.

I love you mom.

Thanks for all you have done for me, Maisy, and everyone else you continue to support to live their best lives today.

However- I also know my mother and will not give her a chance to interject and say she did not do it alone. A lot of our journey was influenced by other moms. Significant key players that supported my parents and helped me through different stages of my life.  They will not go unmentioned,  but now that I am in school for public health I can safely say that ok matter support is offered, if the social determinants of your home life don't support behavior change, positive development efforts are likely to fail.  My mom never gave up, and provided more than she will ever know.

So there. Credit where credit is due.  But my mom is still the best.



We love you :)





2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Amazing love in this blog... snif snif that was just beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful!