An Ode To Mom

This last weekend, May 12, 2013, was national Mothers Day. Really, its such an injustice that mother’s only get one full day of appreciation. They say being a mother is a full time job, so why isn’t a full time job to be a grateful child? I fully understand the fact that not everyone is best friends with their mom like I am, but we all have to admit we wouldn’t be in this world if it wasn’t due to the sheer will and determination to pop you out impatiently around 9 months, and lets all be glad that our mother isn’t Casey Anthony.

All humor aside I really began to think about motherhood the other day. My “Mumz,” as I endearingly call her, had me at the age of 23. I am about to be one year past that age, I couldn’t even imagine what it would be like to be in my life as it currently stands with a little one year old mini me (I was a dead ringer for my mom, I only assume I’d have the same effect on my child). As I was driving around yesterday I would look in my rear view mirror and imagine a little blonde head of hair in a booster seat. Of course, soon following that imagery, I began to tally up the list of things that would need to change in my life if I were to become a mother. Things on my list were the usual – stop smoking, get a safer car, stop sleeping in, save money and budget money for little one’s future – and that’s when I realized I have more growing up to do than I thought! I barely take myself seriously let alone take full responsibility for much of anything. How could I be trusted to care for something so small and helpless that it depends on me for LIFE AND SURVIVAL?!

This awakening made me reflect on the few memories I have from when I was around 3. As long as I can remember my mother carried two or more jobs to take care of her children.  When I was 4 my brother was born, and then there were two of us. She raised us alone for most of our childhood because our fathers didn’t have the option of being there. They both gladly screwed that up for themselves. I never figured out how she had patience for us both at the same time, but I think that comes with the territory of motherhood. I never once doubted that she loved us. In fact, even at a young age I remember some of the sacrifices she made for our wellbeing.

It was a sunny Midwest day, sometime around the summer when the wind is crisp and the grass and trees were bright green. I had played outside that day with the neighbor kids in our apartment complex, but not by brother, because he was still too much of a baby for me to really play with. I was a climber, and would reach as high as I could before I jumped down. Secretly, I wanted to fly like the birds.

“ASHLEY,” yelled the distinct voice of my mom. Her call could be heard for miles I swore, and no matter what I dropped everything and went running home upon hearing it. The neighbor who was watching us had already returned my little brother home and he was sitting at the table patiently waiting for food. Mom was in the kitchen and I sat down next to my brother. Mom, at the time, had a way of always giving us interesting food; things I never saw other kids eat. She came back to the table with warm beans for us both, and sat with us. Halfway through my beans I noticed mom didn’t have a bowl.

“Momma, where’s yours? Do you want some of mine?” I asked in my little voice.

My mother eyes began to well with tears. She took the bite I offered her and replied, “No baby, I’m fine.”

It wasn’t until years later I realized my mom went hungry that night. What I thought was creative and interesting dishes for dinner was actually whatever we had left in the cupboard. That particular day I remember so clearly, my Mother gave us what food we had while she had none, after working hard at two jobs just to make sure we had a roof over our head. Talk about sacrifice. We had our rough times, but she was always there, strong and even more caring. I’ll always love my mom. She is my hero.

Not all of you may have tear jerking or heartbreaking stories of your moms, but at least remember you all have one. She’s out there somewhere, even if that somewhere isn’t with us anymore, there will always be a piece of her inside you. Mothers are forever engraved into our hearts.

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