❤️…Dedicated to My’Chelle, O’Marrion, Brooklynn & London❤️
Less than one hour ago, I received the BEST gift a mother could ever get in honor of Mother’s mother’s Day from my daughter, and I feel compelled to share this with you all because there’s some great insight behind this beautiful gift. Now, in order to fully appreciate the gift, you have to understand the background from which the gift was derived- so here goes:
On June 15, 2005, which was also the day I would’ve celebrated my 25th birthday, I received a gift through the mail I wasn’t ready for-birth certificates of a two year old girl and three year old boy; naming me as the adoptive mother of both. I had just completed my undergrad degree one year prior, had just started my MBA program, was living at home with my grandparents and hadn’t yet found a job to support myself, let alone two kids. Family court had actually awarded me custody of my younger sister’s two children. I’ll be honest, it was against my better judgement, and I had been somewhat guilted into the situation , being that I was the eldest child, and the thought of two innocent children, both victims of circumstance, living with strangers, potentially being separated, among other things were the thoughts that were implanted in my mind, while convincing me to sign on the dotted line.
I was as a great auntie! I did the school field trips, and spent weekends entertaining them but having two children full time was more than a notion. A month later, I landed a job working for a bank, soon after, found a house and before I knew it, I was mama; a single parent with a full-time career and full-time grad student. I had no clue what I was doing. I think the three of us had different expectations of what life with “Auntie Mari” would be like. We had great times but there were some huge challenges; more so when they got older.
Four years later, I had given birth to my own child and shortly thereafter, I lost a significant part of my vision. As a result, I could no longer drive. My sister, their biological mother, started to have more of a presence because she helped me out a great deal while going through rehabilitation for my vision. Within that time, the children were able to spend more time with their mother and got to know her more. However, the more time they spent with her, the more questions they had for me like,” why can’t I be with my mom?” And somewhere along the line, they began to resent me as well as my now, two daughters. There was a drastic change in their behavior, attitudes, productivity in school and extracurricular activities.
.They began to rebel in many ways. I sought counseling for us to try to get down to the root of the issue. Things had gotten to the point where the stress of it all had me in and out of the hospital. There wasn’t much family support to help me deal with the matter. I made the decision to just leave everything alone, allow them to have the relationship they desperately wanted with their mother, and to just stop fighting to protect them from anymore emotional suffering. I wasnt sure how things would turn out or what the impact of me letting go would be, until today. My niece gave me a gift I will never forget:
“happy Mother’s Day to my mama #2. You are by far one of the most smartest, coolest, and strongest person’s I’ve ever met. You are amazing in so many ways I can’t even say. And you are one of my most favorite people ever! In the world today, we paint our own reflections in the world ,and blame the world for how we perceive it, but not me. My reflection is you… You have taught me many lessons in life that has really helped me. I remember long, long, long ago, you taught me that in order to be happy in life, you have to learn to let the pain go and stop feeling sorry for yourself. And living the misery and to stop giving all my time and energy to negativity. With that being said, happy Mother’s Day! I love you!”
I was so overwhelmed with emotion, I couldn’t stop crying I was happy over the outcome but somewhat disappointed in myself that I took on the attitude of just letting go but then I was reminded of my grandmother telling me that tough love was a necessity to parenting. You don’t actually give up on them, you merely allow them to experience life on their own as long as you equip them with the right tools for success, they won’t go wrong. Back then, I had no idea what I was doing, had no clue, that what I said to them back then, they actually heard it and it resonated within them. But today, hearing those words from my thirteen year old, made everything we endured worth it!
So mothers, I shared this with you, to say this. Parenting doesn’t come with a handbook -it’s all trial and error, but when you teach and reprimand and pray, and sometimes just hold your peace etc, your kids will come to appreciate an recognize the labor of love you put in to ensure their success in life.
On this Mother’s Day, I am so thankful and appreciative for the fact that everything we endured together, was not in vain. My niece, at thirteen, has matured into such a beautiful young lady of which I am so proud to have had such an impact in her life.
The one thing I’ve learned from this gift, is to be mindful of what you do and who you do it around; someone is always watching! When children are involved, you have the ability to create quite the impression- be mindful of the marks you leave on the ones who watch you!
Ladies, have a beautiful Mother’s Day!!