Hang in There, Kiddo

Your mom has lived life without you, she had a life before you. You have never known life without her.

When I thought of this, it was such a weird concept to digest. My mom had done just fine without me. She had known life without me and well, … she had survived. Contrary, from the moment she brought me into this world, I have always needed her. I couldn’t make it through life without her. Not only did she change my diapers as a baby, teach me how to walk, refused to give up on me during my tantrum phases or pushed me in academics and life, she shared some very important words in life that have stuck with me even after I left for college. These are things that I catch myself remembering randomly or during different situations as I venture through life.

  • When I was little, I wrote through journals and loved the writing time during classes. Yes, I actually read books purely for enjoyment and interest. I discovered that I love writing and I wanted to do it for a career. I wanted to be an author and doing that was something that most people didn’t view as a realistic goal. I remember being pouty and losing my motivation to follow my dreams. I complained to my mom. I told her it was so unrealistic and I shouldn’t try. My mom wouldn’t have it. There was no pity-party. She simply told me that I could do it if I set my mind to it. What makes my goal possible for someone who has already accomplished it compared to myself? Since then, I have never thought any goal to be out of reach or too big to accomplish.
  • Sometimes, life just sucks. Things are hard. Really, things just get down-right difficult. During one of those particular times, I remember sitting on my mom’s bed just crying. It was a low point when you are in your mom’s room in the middle of the night sobbing, looking for the slightest point of direction or advice. “I can’t say that I know what you’re going through,” she said, “but I can promise you that you won’t have to go through it alone.” When she said this, it was an eye-opening moment. Everyone has someone. I was reminded that no matter the situation–happy or sad– someone would be with me along the way. They didn’t have to be in the same shoes as me, but they would at least help me through it.
  • My parents came up with the most random nickname for each of us three children. Based on the T.V. show he adored well into adulthood, my brother was called Scooby. My sister, known for writing her initials on each and every possession of hers (trying to enforce that idea that nobody would even think about touching what belonged to her), became O.M.S. To properly mock her, you would have to spit these three letters out very fast, to the point where they all blended together in a short, jumbled mess. Each of us–at one point or another–were called “kid” or “kiddo.” I didn’t mind this nickname, I kind of liked it actually. It was a quick revert back to childhood, to actually being care-free. There was one particular time that I loved this word. During an especially hard time, my mom wrote me a note. She knew that I was struggling and so, she ended the note with the best advice I’ve ever gotten from her: “Hang in there, kiddo!” Reading that encouragement immediately made me feel like I was being hugged by her–it gave me a comforting sense of feeling like home. So, for all it is worth, hang in there, kiddo.
  • My mom was the biggest “I love you” person during my entire childhood. She would tell me she loved me relentlessly. It wasn’t out of habit. It wasn’t out of requirement. She chose to love me. Sometimes, I ignored her. I brushed those three words off like they were nothing. Not until I was older, I didn’t realize that she meant what she said and the impact that phrase really had on me. It was an encouragement at times, it was a rock to lean on at times, and it was the foundation in which we had built our mother-daughter relationship. Rooting it in love, we were able to become closer and at least try to understand each other. So for all the times I didn’t say it back, I love you too, Mom.