1. My Mom
My Mom’s the biggest reason why I never gave a crap about not having a dad. As a parent, a role model, a hero… my Mom’s always been more than enough.
She’s given open and honest talk from as early as I can remember. Being a kid, it took some time before I could really understand and appreciate those lessons. But when I did, she was always quick to remind me:
“I told you, you could do it.”
“I knew you’d be able to handle it.”
There’s something to be said for praising a kid too much— you run the risk of the kid being afraid to try new things. Then the kid might want to stick with the familiar. The kid’ll want to keep doing the same things because the current praise is enough.
My Mom found a way to counteract this. She still heaped on the praise, but she challenged me a lot. “I want you to be better than me.” When she’d see something on TV, she’d pause and point, “You could do that. I bet you could do better than he did.”
Usually, “he” was Dr. Phil, but that’s okay.
My friends always tell me I got the cool Mom, and don’t I know it!
Morning talk shows are always going on about how children from divorced families are messed up. I know one of my Mom’s biggest fears is failing her kids. So I think that’s why she tries so hard not only to be a parent, but a hero, a role model, and friend.
And, sometimes it’s tough. As much as I want to reassure her, words aren’t always enough.
So I’m trying to keep it active. I want to keep on giving her assurance that she raised me and my brother well. I want to continue to make her proud. There’s no way I could ever do it, but I want to keep trying to pay her back for everything she’s done.
And for the rest of my life, the love and support she’s given me, I’ll pay it forward.