Once upon a time, I had a dream. I was going to be a world class nurse, and then become a doctor, after I’d done all the grunt work. I was going to ace high school, and I was going to become valedictorian. I was going to be asked to intern at all the top hospitals and become queen of my profession. I was going to be the one they called a miracle worker. I was going places, and helping people. I would serve time in third world countries, really helping people that needed it. All just because, not for money, or for a good name, but I was going to be known for helping people. Not for being a big shot, not for being the highest paid, but for honestly helping people. That meant doing surgeries for free when no one could afford them…flying across the country to help those that needed it. I was really going to do it. And then life got in the way and I decided I was going to be a nurse. That was just as wonderful, and still reachable, so I set out for that. I was great at all the different skills needed. But, as it goes, life got in the way again, and I was blessed with the true way to help someone. I got pregnant with Emilee, and I knew that I could still be a nurse, or a doctor, but it would take away time from being the one thing deep down I always wanted to be. A mom.
I grew up with a mom that was always there. She kissed every bruise and walked with me through all the mountains and hills I came up against. I knew I wanted to be that mom that was there, even when I didn’t want to be. I’m sure there were times what I was doing was the LAST thing she would ever want for me. The absolute worst idea I’d ever had. Actually, I KNOW there were times. She told me so. But, she also told me that she’d be there. And every time I fell, although she still let me fall, make mistakes, and learn, she never kicked me while I was down, and she always helped me figure out how to get back up. That was who I wanted to be. Being a nurse was a great dream. But being a mom was a better reality. I sat in the hospital with a woman that was a lifesaver, my miracle worker, and although she literally had to smack me to get me to listen, she was there, for all the blood sweat and tears, even when it killed her to see me go through it. She’d been there through it all, and that is what I wanted to be. So, yes I gave up on a dream, but I only gave up on it because it was just that a dream, something I wanted to wake up from, because I knew that my reality could be so much better. And I know most of everyone will say that I “gave” up, hell I said it just a second ago. But really, I just found better goals, better realities. Not only do I get to help people, but I get to be there, until my last day. I get to pick both of my babies up after they’ve fallen. I get to support them, no matter what they do. I can teach, and learn with love and not fear. The same way my mother did.
I was a hard kid to love some days. I was am stubborn. I still have to stick my hand in the fire, sometimes more than once, before I figure something out. I had to know what the consequence is first hand, because if you just tell me, I will do it again, because I want to know. I’m curious by nature, and although that may sound good, they’ve always said curiosity killed the cat. And metaphorically, it would have done the same thing to me without my mom there to be my protector. She never stopped me from doing anything, however, she let me learn I was wrong, she taught me how to problem solve, instead of just running to her to fix things.
She is the reason that I am the mom I am to my babies. She is the reason that when Emilee decides she’s wants to jump on the couch, I make sure she won’t harm herself (There is a difference between hurting and harming) and then I watch her jump on the ottoman, and fall, and hit the ground. I pick her up, calm her down, and then we figure out how to let her jump, without falling. She grins up at me, having her fun jumping holding my hand, or the back of the couch, smiling. I let her learn, she grew in front of my eyes in that moment. I sit her plate in front of her, and she knows what “hot” means. I tell her not to take a bite yet, it’s hot, and she grins, waits for me to turn and she takes a bite. She spits it out quickly and realizes that hurts. I give her a cold drink to cool her tongue, I calm her, and soothe, and then we learn how to blow on our food. Again, I watched her grow, learn and in the end while she’s blowing her food, sometimes all over her chair, she is smiling, knowing she can trust me to let her fall, but to always be there to give her my hand to get back up. I will always help her learn, and grow because that is what my mom did for me, and I’m the woman I am today because of her. I’m not perfect, neither is she, but she showed me that perfection isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, because it’s the imperfect pieces that make up who we are. It’s those pieces that teach up the most, and in the end, it’s those that make us smile. Because you can’t take the money with you, or the knowledge, or the wealth, but you can leave behind the memories, the love, the stories, the morals and values, and most importantly, the trust in knowing that you have taught your children how to teach in this world, love in it, and learn from it without being scared. . . .