It isn’t easy being a mom…
…and a dad
…and a teacher
…and a friend
…and a cook, a homemaker, and everything else a military mom is called to be…
But military moms just do it all. Because they have to. Because there is no other choice, and because they love their husband, their children and the military too much to not do it.
Some are good at it. They understand what is needed, and they keep at it, year after year. Some never quite get it, no matter how hard they try.
But my mom…my mom was amazing at it. She made being a military wife and mother look easy. And looking back now, I know it must have been anything but. I have a husband at home every night. I am a teacher, but I have time and a million tools at my fingertips to help me along the way. I cook, I go grocery shopping, I sew and make a home – but I do all those things as part of a family that all show up to the dinner table each and every night. My mom didn’t have any of that.
She had two daughters to raise, a whole ship’s worth of other wives and children to support, and no family close by to help. No one to take her hand and tell her it would be alright. No one to pick up the slack for her.
I know my mom, and I know there must have been many nights she wanted to cry…wanted to just give up…wanted five minutes to herself…wondered if there really was such a thing as peace and what it felt like. But she would get late night phone calls from wives who needed help…who needed someone to be there for them…who just needed.
She had ballet recitals and piano lessons and school plays and field trips and many visits to the ER and restless nights with little sick ones who couldn’t sleep and sleepless nights with teenagers who had broken hearts and through it all…
She never compromised on quality time…she never gave in to quick fixes or fast food dinners or time to herself just so she could get by. She gave more and somehow she never ran out of giving. I see now how much time she gives to her grandson and how many things she puts aside when he takes her hand in his and leads her down the path only a child knows to travel, and I am reminded of the things I remember from my childhood – not things I didn’t have, because mom always made sure we never had a chance to really miss them, but of all the things I did have.
She sewed the seeds of motherhood into me over those years of growing and learning and being, and when I feel hopelessly lost in the wilderness of raising a child, I am raised up by the knowledge that I have been gifted with such a beautiful example to follow.
My momma. My hero. Thank you.