Why the (almost) tears?
Must have done something right
To have you by my side
Just like this
When everybody else had doubts
You held me down
Just like you said you would
Aint nobody on the planet that can touch you
Ain't nobody, ain't nobody, no
Oh, and you gotta know
From the bottom of my heart
I'll always love you
I'll lay down my life for you
Those words made me instantly think of my mother.
As a teen and young adult, these differences caused us to butt heads constantly. I am an only child so of course, most of her dreams and aspirations for me were on a hundred thousand trillion, and when I wanted to do what I wanted to do, friction was inevitable.
But now, things have changed. Though we're still two completely different people, I see my mother making every effort to push me in to the light, rooting for the type of success that I want. Most of our conversations now are about her encouraging me to do what I want to do: WRITE.
So when she comes across people at the college that she works for, who would be great mentors and professional examples to follow, she tells them about me, and me about them. She is constantly on the look out for information on publishing and mapping out ways for me to get there. She reads my work and gets extra proud and excited when it's good. She will tell me if it's wack or if I've made a mistake, which is also a godsend.
When I applied to a summer writers workshop at University of California, Berkeley, and was worried that I wouldn't get in because I only had two days to write a 20 page manuscript and didn't have enough time to seriously edit it (while also dealing with midterms), she told me not worry; that if I didn't get in, that should never stop me, keep on trying. When I was accepted last week, she was the first one I told. And when I was recently selected to review books on a panel for a major magazine, she immediately thanked God and told me, "You have so much on your plate now. What ever I can do to help you be great at what you do, let me know. I'm here for you."
It took me forever and a day to realize what I wanted to do with my life, and then a little longer than that to map out a plan to get there, and then a little longer than that to implement it. So it feels great to be able to talk to my mom nearly every single day about story ideas, progress in school, issues at work, expanding my book club, and writing projects that have been falling out of the sky. I know that she prays for me and my talent every single day. And I credit her for starting it all by reading to me while I was in her belly, and riding bikes with me every other week to the Martin Luther King Library in East Oakland as a kid.
Thank you so much, Mom, for pushing me to shine. With your consistent help and encouragement, I am definitely on my way! And thank you, God, for a mother that truly has my back.
HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!