Today is a very special day…it is my mom’s birthday! My mom is obviously one of the most important people in my life and in honor of her birthday I thought I would shine a little spotlight on her.
My mom is basically Wonder Woman.
While I was growing up and still today, my mom works a full time job while also managing our house, me, my dad, my little brother and our dog Scout (plus all of our crazy schedules!). It wasn’t until I started working that I realized it is not exactly cool to leave early to run errands before the store closes or pick up your kid from school because they missed the bus. Somehow she mastered this endless balancing act of extra curriculars, errands, cooking, laundry, and the list goes on. She is never too busy for her family and always makes us her number one priority. As a kid I don’t think I ever realized how hard my mom worked, but now I cannot even imagine how she did it all, and still does it all. She even drove three hours each way one weeknight to pick me up from school, after working a really long day, to take me home and help me heal from a serious injury. My mom goes above and beyond for her family daily. What’s even crazier about all of this is that she never asks for anything in return. She is truly one of the most selfless people I know.
My mom is my best friend.
She is the one person I know that I can rely on no matter what. Like any other mother/daughter pair we have had our ups and downs, but in comparison to most other mother/daughter relationships, I’d say ours is the best. Over the years we have grown incredibly close, but even during my teenage angst period I’d say we had a pretty good relationship. We talk about everything and she perfectly balances the listening ear and helpful advice with the sometimes necessary tough love. Throughout college and even now, I talk to my mom on the phone basically everyday. Even though she is my mom, most of the time it just feels like friends chatting about their days.
Over the years, I have learned so many different things from my mom but there is one phrase in particular that I carry with me always.
I hope you dance
When I was in middle school and early into high school, I had quite a bit of friend drama. Nothing outrageous, but at the time it truly felt like the end of the world. I remember one night I was so upset because my friends had decided to go to this event in town and did not invite me. I was crying to my mom and I distinctly remember how hurt she looked. I thought it was because, like me, she was sad my friends ditched me. But no, it was something so much bigger than that one incident. She told me that there is a song that she loves, called, “I hope you dance” by Lee Ann Womack. For anyone who hasn’t heard it before, it is a song filled with hopes that a parent has for their child. My mom told me that in the song there is a line that goes…
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.
I hope you dance….I hope you dance.
And she said, “Allison I want you to be happy and I hope that you always dance. No matter what happens in life, I hope you never lose that sense of wonder and that you live your life to the fullest.”
I don’t think I have ever told my mom this, but I honestly think that that moment was a turning point for me. It was a like a wake up call. It was that reminder that wait, this is my life and only I truly have the power to make myself happy. I couldn’t let fear or toxic friendships stop me from being happy and being who I am.
Back then I was a lot more insecure and afraid, but in time I have grown and accomplished so much. Sometimes when I am feeling frustrated or like I have basically nothing figured out at all my mom will turn to me, smile, and say, “Allison, you’re dancing!” And it always reminds me of how far I have come and how much more there is left in this crazy world that I can still do.
Even to this day, whenever I hear this song I cry. It reminds me of the hopes my mom has for me, and the ones that I have for myself. It is the way that I want to live my life, and without my mom I don’t think I would have ever believed enough in myself to go after the things that I want.
I hope that in your life you never lose your sense of wonder and always, always…dance!
I love you Mom. Happy Birthday!