When I got the invitation from Carolyn to be a part of the “Moms Celebrating Moms” series, I knew instantly what I would write about. I am very blessed to have many, many moms in my life who are completely outstanding and inspiring but there is only one who I can credit the majority of my mommy success to- my mom.
Many people are confused when I talk about my mom because I also talk about a woman who I refer to as my mother. Confused yet? You’re not alone so let me clear it up. My mother is the woman who gave birth to me. She is also the woman who was deep in addiction for the majority of my childhood. My mother’s house was full of confusion, abuse and chaos. I know, now, that my mother didn’t want it that way, she was a loving person but she was also very young and deep in the throws of a terrible disease, addiction.
My mom was first my daycare provider, shortly after my ninth birthday and my move out of my mother’s house and into my father’s. She was my first taste of what a parent should do and how they should be. She treated all the kids in her care as if they were her own, deeply respecting and guiding us.
When my father got a divorce and fell down into his alcoholism, round about the time I was 13, he relied heavily on my mom (who was also his good friend) to help raise my brother and I. And she did. She was there for nearly every band concert, every boyfriend breakup and every big test. She would sit endlessly with us, pouring over the Great Gatsby, to prepare us for the final. I even moved in with her and her daughter and husband several times in my teen years, every time she was there with a hug and words of advice.
I moved in for the last time when I was 17. After a move to California, my father had gotten so deep into his addiction that I knew I needed to leave. My mom sent me a plane ticket from Los Angeles airport to her home in Oregon. She never took any money from either of my “natural” parents, supporting me every step of the way through my Senior year of high school. That year I maintained a 4.0 grade average, was Senior Class President, held a part time job and won roughly 26 thousand dollars in scholarships to college. My mom was behind me, kicking my butt the whole time.
It’s been a while since the day I moved out of my mom’s house. She’s gotten a divorce, raised her adopted, mentally-delayed daughter (along with several other fostered children), put herself through college and gotten remarried since that day but every time I’ve needed to talk or a shoulder to cry on, she’s been there.
This woman didn’t need a blood-tie, a check or any reason, other than pure love, to be my mom. She taught me that every child is worth respect. She showed me with her every action that a child is something to be cherished and nurtured. I may not have been born to people who were ready to be parents but I ended up with the very best model of what it means to be a mom.
I see my mom everyday as I watch my baby grow. I hear her voice when I speak to Little A. I use her arms and her heart to hug away tears and teach good habits. I know that Little A’s life is better because my mom decided to be, my mom.
Hey there! My name is Jess and I’m here visiting from My Child-Centered Life. I have been a child care professional my whole adult life as both a nanny and teacher. After my daughter was born, I was blessed to be able to stay home with her. She makes everyday an adventure and I love sharing those adventures with my readers. You can find me at http://mychildcenteredlife.com/ . I also have a Facebook fanpage at http://www.facebook.com/
Creative commons image of flowers from StuartWebster