So Many Things


I carried both of my kids longer than nine months. Actually, I’m still carrying them. I’ve been carrying my daughter for 318 months and my son for 300 months. They moved away from home years ago, but they have a permanent residence in my mind. They are the first thing I think about each morning when I wake up. I’ve thought about both of my kids literally every single day since I knew they existed. I thought constantly back in the beginning, as I do now, about what I can do to help make their dreams come true.

I naturally thought about making my children’s dreams become a reality, because that’s what my mom did for me. She did this by providing me with what I thought was a dream existence for a kid. I felt sorry for my friends who didn’t have a mom like mine. I grew up on a farm, and she allowed me to fill my free time with exploring, climbing, creating, and playing.

1970 - 10 - 31, ed cropMy mom was typical of the 1970s moms in the way that they gave their kids the breathing room necessary to just be a kid, thanks to a lack of hovering and over-scheduling of kid activities. But I recognized when I was really young that my mom was clearly not like all the other moms I saw. My mom was the most beautiful, most intelligent, most generous, kindest, hardest working mom I ever met. I noticed that she had super powers the other moms didn’t have because she could go from doing field work on a tractor to being the prettiest one at a party in the blink of an eye. She could whip up a feast for anyone who stopped by at mealtime uninvited—and she did it with a smile. She was the smartest player in games like Scrabble and Trivial Pursuit and demonstrated that intelligence was a highly desirable thing, but nothing to be flaunted. Despite her full days, she always found time to visit someone in the neighborhood who was sick or lonely or in need of something she could provide.

I noticed that my mom always set aside her busy schedule on my birthday and it caused me to think that it was the most important day of the year. While I lived at home, she threw me a party each year that was filled with people and good food. My mom made me feel so important that I believed I was actually deserving of whatever I wished for when I blew out my birthday candles. When I was a kid I actually wished for world peace for several years. I believe this is because of the behavior my mom modeled. She interacted with everyone in such a respectful way. She never said an unkind word about anyone. She was always ready to do what she could to help someone. I watched as her behavior promoted peace. I believed that if everyone chose to behave like my mom did, we could actually achieve world peace.

In today’s political climate, we are what seems like light years removed from the 1979 Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty between Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin. After that peaceful gesture occurred when I was ten years old, I thought my birthday wishes had come true and that the whole world would start behaving more like my mom. As I matured, I realized that world peace might be out of reach, but I still held onto the belief my mom instilled in me that my existence is something to be celebrated and that I deserve to have my dreams come true. Since I wasn’t sure how I could achieve world peace, I dreamed of someday being a mom to amazing children.

My dreams came true 24 and 25 ½ years ago. It’s my hope that I managed to impress upon my son and daughter the importance of striving to help make someone else’s dreams come true. I hope they recognized when they were growing up that their existence deserves celebrating and that considering the well-being of others can make the world a better place. If I have succeeded at this, it’s because of the inspiring example I have witnessed in the amazing woman I’ve been lucky to call my mom.

Happy and Peaceful Mother’s Day to you, Mom! You deserve it.

2018 - 06 - 28 (170) crop



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© 2019 by Julie Ryan. All rights reserved
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