I’m sitting here listening to my daughter snore… She would kick me for telling you that! She is such a blessing! Moments like this make me realize how blessed I am and how lucky I am to get to experience the transition that has taken place in the last few years. My baby girl has become my best friend.
It’s not something I see when we’re busting our butts through our day to days, but when it’s quiet, I do… and I remember.
I remember being 15. I remember when all I wanted to do was join the Army and get away from Winchester, Illinois. I remember when a thought of children wasn’t until after I’d traveled the world!
Then I turned 16 with a daughter on my knee and I fell in love with blue eyes smiling up at me. I remember everyone who said we’d never amount to anything. I remember people saying I was making a huge mistake. I remember being terrified that they were right, but I kept on.
I remember standing in the rain so long I came to welcome it. I remember using every bit of WIC so I wouldn’t get cut back if we needed it and didn’t have any money. I remember thanking God every time my heat came on. I remember other kids learning algebra while I was paying a mortgage. I remember people saying I should drop out of school. I remember the look on all of their faces when I got my diploma like everyone else. I remember being uncertain if I was mothering right. I remember questioning if I was a good mom. I no longer question that.
I remember travels at night when she’d slept the whole way. Now, she helps me navigate! She’s my map reader, my “you missed your turn”er, the smile to my right. The assurance that we’ll never be truly lost together. After all, look at how far we’ve come!
In the end, we’ve done more than surf waves and climb mountains. Somehow, in my shortcutting through Memphis, I’m teaching her more than that Gulfport is practically a straight shot south. I’m teaching her that we’re capable, that she is capable. I’m teaching her that when she slips, I’m there. I’m teaching her there’s a difference between living and existing. I’m teaching her not to be afraid to go outside of her comfortable boundaries. I’m teaching her to have faith in herself.
She’s teaching me the same things!