In honor of Mother’s Day this Sunday, I have some great “Mom” posts planned this week! And I’m going to start with the story of how I turned the tables on my own mother :)
But first we have to go back to when I was in Kindergarten. (Quickly, I promise!) That spring, my parents signed me up for tee-ball (Remember tee-ball?? They don’t even have tee-ball around here anymore – they start the girls softball league at 5 years old!) Anyway, my dad was thrilled because he and a friend had signed up to coach. I honestly don’t remember anything about the two seasons I played tee-ball, but I can still picture our t-shirt “uniforms” (we were sponsored by my neighbors’ real estate company), practicing in our front yard, and my mom. My mom was there for every game, probably wearing an oversized button with my tee-ball picture on it.
In case you are wondering, it turns out tee-ball wasn’t really my sport. Or softball. Or soccer. Or basketball. But my mom never missed one of those games either; she was always there for my games and my brother’s, sporting her button(s)-du-jour because, win or lose, she wanted to show her support.
By middle school, I decided to stick to the things I actually did well – cheerleading and gymnastics and, eventually, tennis. Between my middle school (then high school) squad and competition squad, summer camps and multiple tumbling classes, cheerleading was essentially a year-round sport for me. But guess who drove me to all those practices, and meets, and camps, and classes? My mom. To be present for those “Nailed It” moments and to lift me up through some discouraging ones.
So five years ago this Mother’s Day weekend, when my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, I was honestly more confused than I was worried. I mean, I don’t know about your mom, but my mom was invincible. Moms don’t even get the flu, right? This cancer business was downright ridiculous. The enormity of the situation didn’t actually sink in until I walked into her pre-op room with my dad just before they took her back for a lumpectomy. I’m sure we had stayed up late talking the night before about the surgery. But I wasn’t alarmed. I rode with my parents to the hospital that morning, watched them talk to doctors and surgeons and specialists … concerned but still lacking so much understanding. Not until I saw her prepped for surgery did I “get it.”
Thankful for God’s healing and mercy, my mom has been cancer free for more than 4 years. In that time I have realized that my mom is not, in fact, invincible but she can still be unstoppable.
Because, you see, even though nearly three decades have passed since my mom started wearing oversized photo buttons, some things never change. When my parents found out I was getting to and from my first half marathon by myself (because I wasn’t about to wake up my husband and babies at 4:30 am!) my mom immediately informed me that she and my dad would be there to cheer me on. She was less than 6 months post-chemo but finally starting to have some more energy … so I was surprised this is how she wanted to spend her weekend!
I think she also secretly thought I might not be able to walk, let alone drive, when I was finished so she was also probably happy to know how I was getting home!
And when I convinced my brother to run with me the next two years, of course they were there for those too!
So as my brother and I were discussing our next race one day and she casually mentioned that she could “never” complete a half marathon, I made it my mission to change her mind :)
It took a little coaxing, but she eventually agreed to let me “coach” her through it. We all signed up for the 2014 Flying Pig Half Marathon in Cincinnati and I promised to stay with her and her best friend, who probably figured she’d get some quality catch up time in during that 13.1 miles.
The tables had turned. I got to be the unwavering supporter for once. I got to be the encourager. I got to be the cheerleader. Her cheerleader. From the first mile to the last and every single one in between.
Mom. Wife. Mia (Grandma). Daughter. Sister. Aunt. Cousin. Friend. Giver. Teacher. Counselor. Seeker. Event Planner. Lifelong Cheerleader and … Half Marathoner!
Happy Mother’s Day Mom! I am so very happy the tables were turned on this day :)
What was your “thing” growing up – your best sport/extra curricular/hobby? Have you ever turned the tables on your mom? Tell us about it!