The After Mommy

Have you encouraged a mom today? You can't imagine the blessing she receives when you do! Tell a mom she's awesome on this sweet Mother's Day :)


What happens when they leave? When the hallways and bedrooms are silent? No more screaming my turn or he won't share or tears needing the only kiss that will heal... No more middle of the night cuddle sessions or stay-up-lates because it's summer...

What happens when I can't sit still because I've spent the past twenty years running myself ragged trying to give them the good life? To lead by example? To raise them up in the way they should go? What happens after all of the hard stuff? What happens after the little voices calling out mommy disappear?

When I was eighteen, I made a decision. I didn't want to ever go back home. Ever. I was ready for my own time. My mom says that was the sign that she'd done it right. That she's raised me up in the way I should go. I was ready, and I went.

And apart from one summer, I never went back. She taught me how to land on my own two feet, regardless of how far I'd fallen. She taught me to turn that frown upside down and get on with it. She taught me what it meant to work harder tha hard to get what I want. She taught me to work even harder for my family.

Even though our lives could not have been more different. Even though she wasn't always given the best situations, my mom persisted. She never left. She was always there. Always.

I'll never forget the day I left for Boston. I had been living by myself for three years at this point, but she was still an ever present force in my daily life. I (my brother-in-law) had sold my (her) car, and had packed everything I owned in a friend's pickup truck to make the 17 hour trek (which turned into 24 due to torrential downpours all the way up) from Atlanta to Boston. We met at a Starbucks, and each got our usual latte. I had cut my long ballerina mane into a short pixie, and as she cried claiming she was devastated for the loss of my "beautiful hair" (This is partly true. She still talks about it.), I knew this was it. This was the beginning of the rest of my life.

And she let me go. Because that's what moms do. They do everything humanly possible they are able; the gutwrenching-feels-impossible-to-make-it-another-day part of motherhood just to get to that very moment. And they let go.

She let me go when my dreams of becoming a ballerina persisted into my college years. When I left the cozy, small town safety of a small women's college in exchange for the big city not knowing what lay ahead. When I called her up and said, "I'm going to be a Speech-Language Pathologist! And the only school I got into is in Boston!" And she let me go when I was engaged to a man she hardly knew, aside from the way I spoke about him. The way I knew he was different than the others.

Mom, I don't know how you did it. I want to hold these babies so close it hurts. I don't want to ever let them go.  I don't want these hallways to go silent, for them to move on. But I do want this: I want them to grow to be independent, but dependent on the Lord. I want them to live with purpose even when they don't know what their purpose is. And I want them to love me as much as I love you.

You've taught me all of those things mom. Thank you for being the perfect mom for me.

Happy Mother's Day, xoxo, k.

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