Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there, but especially to my momma!
My mom is wonderful and such an example of overcoming adversity. She has had Multiple Sclerosis for 36 years and while it's been an especially hard road, she rarely, if ever lets it get her down.
I can tell you a billion things about my mom that make her so fantastic, but instead, I want to share a story with you that probably no one in the family but me remembers. It probably seemed small and mundane at the time, but if you were ask me my favorite memory/story about my mom, this one would be it. It is a great reminder to me that even the small things make memories for our kids.
Growing up, our family vacations almost always were camping around Washington. We used to go to Lake Sawyer for a few days every summer. I have no idea where Lake Sawyer is, but I remember growing up, it feel like it was 50 hours away from our house. We would spend the time swimming, eating, hiking, and just playing.
One summer we were there when I was probably four or five. I remember playing in the water at the beach with my sister and my dad while my mom floated around on an air mattress. My dad and sister went back to the camp site for some reason, and my mom asked if I wanted to come out on to the air mattress with her. Of course I jumped at the chance!
She was laying on her stomach paddling with her arms, and I climbed up and laid with my tummy on her back. I was a ballsy kid (just ask my parent's ER bills) and usually wasn't afraid of anything, but as we moved past the roped-in swim area, the water grew dark. I could no longer see the sand on the bottom, and I remember being so scared that I was going to fall off in to the deep, never to be seen again.
After a mini-panic attack, I noticed my mom wasn't at all afraid of the deep water. It didn't bother her in the least; in fact, she kept going farther and farther out in to the middle of the lake. From my perch there on her back, I could feel her strong back and arm muscles taking us further from the safety of the shore. She wasn't scared that the water was so deep and scary. She wasn't worried that we were out here. Alone. She just kept paddling.
Soon, I relaxed and was able to look around me at the scenery. I could see the trees and boats in the distance. I could see minnows and other fish swimming in the lake. Birds were everywhere, and the sky was a glorious blue.
After what seemed like an eternity, though I'm sure it was only like 15 minutes, my mom turned around and started paddling back to the beach. We didn't say much if anything during our float out there, but I walked away with the message that my mother is the strongest and bravest woman I know. And sometimes you have to leave the safety of the unknown to really have experiences. Memories aren't made by playing it safe.
Happy Mother's Day momma. Thank you for all the big memories, and the smaller ones too.