Curiosity got the best of me. I guess it was bound to happen. The day finally arrived when I did the math and discovered my mom’s age when she had me. I was a student in law school thinking about the pressures of life—past, present, and future—when the thought snuck into my consciousness of what my mom was doing at my age.
Interestingly, prior to that moment I did not know her age at my birth. I could have asked her, but I never did and she never said. I guess it was one of those things that never comes up. Why would it? It was not a secret, just not relevant I guess.
In knowing what my mom was doing at my age, I thought maybe I could get some insight, some encouragement. Before that moment, I had much respect for my mother. Matter of fact, I would have argued that I could not have had more respect for her. I was naïve.
So, there I sat doing a mental calculation. Then, I used paper and pen. I remember doing the math twice, just to make sure. Suddenly I felt great emotions invade my body—those of significant gratitude, love, respect, strength, and admiration all bundled up in excitement. That was the day I realized that my mom has a life, a real life like those I have read about, with stories to share and that I should ask her to share them. It sounds crazy right? Of course she has a life full of stories to share you may be thinking. That part did not surprise me as much. It was the part that I should ask her to share them that gave me greater pause.
When I thought about the stresses I was having at that time as a single, childless young woman during a time when this country had supposedly progressed in so many ways, I nearly cried at the thought of my mom’s sacrifices in deciding to have me and of her sacrifices I know she has made since my arrival. My mom was one of the first students to integrate the university of which she is an alumnae. Of course she has stories to share! Now, I ask her more questions.
In my mom’s strength, I became humbled. Now that I have become a woman, one knowledgeable of historical and modern day issues, I am able to appreciate her even more. She is so generous, always quick to lend a helping help with a smile. She is wise, patient, and smart. I love my mom and look forward to understanding the world through her lens even more.
It is funny that moms can be easily overlooked so often, in so many ways. Whenever I wanted to hear stories of how it used to be, I would ask a grandparent. Rarely would I toss the question to one of my parents. (My father would more readily share his experiences without the need for the question though.)
I have discovered that my mom loves to share her life stories with me and I love to hear them. If you have the opportunity, do not waste it. Get to know your mother, as both a mother and as a person. Let her know that you love her, as both a mother and as a person. Watch her smile.