I was 24.
The very same age when my mother had me. It was pinnacle to me, but that did not calm my nerves about being a parent.
I’d had a C-section, so the stay in the hospital gave me enough time to really get used to having a baby, but once I got home and all the friends had left and I was all alone looking down on this little bundle – I was terrified.
I mean, not the apprehensive like what to do. No, it was worse. I was so scared I was going to hurt her or do something horribly wrong. I was all alone and no one was there to help me.
She started to cry.
Even after being trained in the hospital, I was at a loss for what this human being wanted. I didn’t understand this crying language and it frustrated me that I could not appease her because of this language barrier.
My mother called me that night.
“How are you?” she asked.
I lied, “I’m good.”
“You must be tired.”
“No, I’m fine.” My stomach lurched at lying to my mother.
She paused for a second, before asking, “How’s the baby?”
I actually had to look around because I’d forgotten where the baby was. Maggie was sleeping at the time in the crib by my bed. “She’s sleep.”
My mother paused again. “How are you?”
Now, I should warn you my mother is no idiot. Matter of fact, I think this woman has some type of special mental abilities better than Professor X to pull what’s in your brain out and plant whatever she wants to in.
I knew when she asked that question again, she was not crazy or she had not forgotten she had asked me this before.
“Ma, I’m fine really,” I tried to lie again, but this time my voice cracked a little at the end.
“Do you need something?”
Taking a deep breath, unable to lie anymore, I said, “I wish you were here.”
“Well,” she said. I could hear her moving around as she continued, “I think I can be there in a couple of days. Can you wait that long?”
Tears filled my eyes and ran down my cheek, because I needed my momma so bad.
Now to understand the sacrifice this woman was making, I should let you know that I was in Tampa, Florida at the time and she was in Detroit, Michigan.
To make matters worse, It was December. To be more specifically, it was December 20th. I’d just had my baby in early December and this woman was willing to buy an immediate ticket during one of the busiest holiday seasons.
There was no way I could give her money on her airfare or travel and the most I could offer her was a pallet on my front room floor to stay at. Nor did I have a car to help get her around while she was here.
My mother was fine with this and said she would call me back with her travel arrangements.
That night, I got a call from her and she was apologetic. She couldn’t get a reasonable flight she could afford until the 26th, but she’d arrive early in the morning and then she had to leave by the New Year because she had to get back to school.
I had one week to learn everything I needed to know to be a mother.
Knowing my mother would be there made me feel much much better. During that time, she called every day though to check on me. She made me do a check list of the things I knew I would need to help me take care of the baby and before she got there I started the process of receiving governmental aid.
My mother arrived that morning after Christmas and I hugged her like a four year old who had gotten lost and just needed to feel their mother’s strong arms around their body. She smelled like heaven. I mean really. She made me feel like I’d walked through the gates of heaven and was standing in front of the throne of God.
I wanted to cry, laugh and shout all at the same time, but then I also knew we had a lot of work to do.
I rolled up my sleeves and prepared to be the student to the master.
I’m taking a pause to enlighten you on how I came up with this post. For the past couple of years, lots of people have given me great compliments about my children. How their raised, how they act and how they treat me.
They like when they come over my house for business meetings, they can barely tell the children are not even in the house. And my four bedroom apartment is not really that big.
They like that when we’re out in public, not only do my children assist me, but they don’t make me act like a mom in public.
They like that at all times, whether I’m around my children or not, most of the time, my children act as if I’m there and make decisions as if I’m standing over there whether I am or not.
So of course I get asked questions as to how, as a busy single mother and the hardest working woman in the literary world this side of the Mississippi, did this? How was I able to devote such dedicated discipline to three children of all varying ages .
And also, I wanted to do this post for Sandra Bullock. (You’re in my prayers.) As a new single mother, I was reading the article on Yahoo, which talked about your apprehension of becoming a single mother.
I loved you gave ups to us in your speech BTW and you’re so right we rarely do get ups and we need them so bad.
This post came from all the questions and from Sandra Bullock’s secret cry out: What to do?
3 THINGS MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME THAT I WILL NEVER FORGET
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