When she was my age, my mom was done having kids.
Her oldest was was in third grade.
Her middle child was in kindergarten.
Her youngest was a year old.
When she was my age, my mom was about to lose the only job she ever knew…at a small corner grocery store.
She would be forced to learn a new skill.
I wouldn’t know how she felt about doing new things…finding something else…finding a fit.
I was eight.
My world was myself.
In a couple short years my mom would take a huge leap of faith. With a child in middle school, one in elementary school, and one still at home, she would enter college.
I hardly remember it. It was a blip on my radar.
My mom sat at the kitchen table every single night pouring over her studies after her day of working and mothering. After making dinner, clearing the table, and doing the dishes. After carting us here and there. After 101 errands.
In my mind that was our normal then.
But I am sure she felt anything but normal. She was a thirty-something sitting in freshman classes with 18 and 19 year olds. She was stomping across campus instead of sitting behind a desk in an office.
She still had time to quiz us on vocabulary words or help us with math or watch us create a class project.
She still made our lunches and our beds.
She still brought home more than part-time work from her job.
She still made snacks for our class parties and got groceries every week and made a full dinner every night by 5:00pm
Dishes didn’t stack up.
Dusting didn’t get ignored.
Vacuuming didn’t get skipped.
And my mom? Earned a 3.98 GPA when she finally graduated at 43 with her accounting degree.
I could blame her for my idea of what motherhood is, but I don’t.
I thank her for it.
Because even though I can’t possibly live up to that ideal that I have in my head? She has taught me so many things.
Every single time I’ve felt like quitting?
Every time I thought a class or a task or a new adventure or motherhood was too hard?
I studied/pushed/tried/loved harder.
Every time I thought I couldn’t possibly do it all?
And my mom still cheers me on the entire way…usually with homemade cookies.