*Don't let my smile and floral vest fool you...evil.
Sorry about this pic, mom, but it was too good not to share;)
I had a mouth and mean, mean words at times, and I wasn't afraid to use both. I blame it on pre-teen hormones. I was stubborn; crazy stubborn. If my family ate somewhere that I didn't "feel like" that evening, I'd refuse to go inside. I remember sitting in the car at what is now one of my favorite restaurants in town, and I stubbornly watched my family eat their warm meals through the window. I was starving but I was not going to let them "win". The funny part is that no one really won, but I lost big time. I was the one who didn't get supper, and the only person that I hurt by those stunts was myself. Pathetic little me, sitting alone with tears streaming down my face in the cold, dark car while I could smell the delicious fries in the air.
By the grace of God, I slowly grew up and evened myself out. I stopped screaming at my mom or making faces to her from around the corner. I started realizing that maybe she actually knew what she was talking about from time to time, so I began to listen more. I also learned that she had my back when I needed an advocate. She was one of my biggest fans and I was becoming one of hers. She never missed a skating competition in 13 years, although I'm sure there were some that she had wished she hadn't witnessed due to my lazy, poor performance at times. She'd take off work, drive me hours away, watch nervously in the stands, and either celebrate with me or assure me that there was "nowhere to go but up" if my skating was less than stellar.
And as I got even older, I began watching her passion for giving back and her compassion for others. I had a new found respect for her heart outside of simply mothering Tanner and me. I watched her mother her little sister through the Big Sister's program, and I watched her serve as a second mother for a family in Mississippi through the Box Project. I learned that my mom's heart didn't belong just to our family of four, and I became proud.
We shared countless girl's weekends in Charleston and fell in love with the south, and more so its charm and cuisine, together. And somewhere between my 20's and early 30's she became one of my best friends. Still is. Always will be. If she can put up with Brittany at age 11, I'm certain we can weather anything together.
Happy Mother's Day weekend, mom! You're an example of compassion, passion, creativity, being humble and forgiving, and you must have the patience of a saint to put up with Tanner and me. I'm so thankful that out of all the mom's in the world, the Lord gave us you. Thank you for you being our selfless fan for over 30 years! I love you.