We have these pink cowboy boots that we just can’t part with.
Sarah asked for them for months before she turned 6 and she wore them faithfully until she couldn’t cram her growing feet down in them one more time.
Her teacher asked me a couple of weeks after her birthday if she slept in them and I had to say she would if we would have let her.
She loved them.
And they birthed an expression that still puts me into fits of giggles every time it is said, or I even think about it being said.
Walking down the mall or a street or out in front of our house, she would start this long, striding, purposeful march with her arms swinging wide at her side and with her head raised high, she would proclaim…
I’m walking like a mom!
It was adorable, although less than flattering to see her impression of what a mom walked like.
I couldn’t tell if she actually thought that is what I looked like or if she was capturing the essence of the power and confidence she thought I possessed as her mother.
Since no one in our family ever agreed that she had definitely nailed an accurate impersonation of me walking (I know this because we all would laugh uncontrollably and ask where she got that idea), I have to assume it was the latter option.
So in honor of Mother’s Day…here is my response to that little girl in the pink cowboy boots and the sister and brother who made the bookends around her.
Oh children….if ever you thought your mother was confident that she knew what she was doing…she had you fooled.
I had not a clue how to dress a baby or change a diaper when they laid the first one of you in my arms and said we could take you home to raise.
While I had practiced for this role a zillion times in the play house my dad made for me in our basement as a little girl, real babies are not like dolls. I had never really cared for a newborn child.
They wiggle and move and their very lives depend on you and I was so scared I would mess it up.
And I did.
Time and again….although I was greatly relieved to find out eventually that feeding errors and occasionally binge watching cartoons doesn’t lead to sudden death.
I questioned every decision and I read so many books, even the falling apart paper back one from Dr. Spock that my mom had used when she was struggling with her own doubts raising me and your aunt.
I asked other mothers and I thank God the internet wasn’t a thing because I would have been googling perpetually.
I never wanted to do anything right and perfectly more than I have wanted to raise you three.
I wanted you to love Jesus and love people and spread your wings and not live in the same kind of fear and dread cycle I have fought so that you could do the wonderful things I knew God made you to do.
And you went and did, didn’t you.…
All three of you.
You went and spread your wings and flew, and traveled, and set your mind to attempt careers and learn skills. You have taken up the cause of others so many times and fought for the underdog.
You have made a life of purpose and forged into areas that have forced me to respond to your big ideas with a phrase I coined back in your college days…
“That sounds like a great opportunity.”
And here’s a little secret, that is code for “Your mom is going to need some time on her knees to get happy about that plan.”
You weren’t afraid to think and to be adults who fend for themselves. You have learned to wait for the things you want to happen and yet you have also rolled up your sleeves to do your part.
And along the way, you realized that your mom doesn’t really have a bent to walk with big confident steps and her arms swinging boldly at her side with her head held high…even if she would like to be that way.
You figured out that sometimes she does manage to pull it off…but a lot of times she moves slowly and sometimes she just rambles…and many a time all she could pull off was a crawl.
So here is to you birds that made me a mom and the dad who held us all together with the glue of steadfastness, consistency and wisdom.
Here’s to the laughter and the tears and the way we all have grown up together.
And here’s to the years and growth that lay before us all as we….
journey onward <3