AND . . . do enter the contest for a chance to win a beautiful handcrafted pearl necklace and a JOYN India bag. Enter at the bottom of this post. The contest runs 5/4-5/13, and the winner will be announced on 5/14. Contest is only open to U.S. residents. If you are unfamiliar with Pearl Girls™, please visit www.pearlgirls.info, subscribe to our blog, and see what we’re all about. In short, we exist to support the work of charities that help women and children in the US and around the globe. Consider purchasing a copy of Mother of Pearl: Luminous Lessons and Iridescent Faith to help support Pearl Girls™.
And to all you MOMS out there, Happy Mother’s Day!
The Mom Who Gives Freedom by Christy Fitzwater
My mom is a reserved, quiet homebody who has lived in the same house for forty years. She has no ambitious career goals or desire for adventure.
She gave birth to me, an outgoing adventure-lover who has lived to take risks and put myself out into the world, in ways my mother would never dream of doing herself.
Yet my mother has always given me the great gift of freedom. She has never cast onto me her own fears of limelight or reservations about risk but has only encouraged me to do the outrageous things I have attempted to do.
When I received an award in high school that required me to fly, for the first time and by myself, from Wyoming to Atlanta, Georgia (only having talked once by telephone to the person who would pick me up), she sent me off with enthusiasm. (But her heart must have trembled to allow me to get on that plane.)
When that award landed me a full scholarship to a school in Texas I had never heard of (the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor), she rejoiced with me and did not hesitate to allow me to accept the scholarship. She then drove away from me in Texas, leaving me at a school where I knew no one, and only years later told me that was the hardest thing she had ever done.
When I called from Texas, at the end of my freshman year, and excitedly announced I had gotten a job and would be staying in Texas for the summer, she said it was wonderful and gave her approval.
Mom never filled me with doubt about what I could do. She never cast guilt on me for going on adventures that took me far away from her. She never poured her anxiety on my head but spoke only happiness and cheerleader words for me.
But now that I’m a mom, I know.
I know my risk-taking journey has always cost her something. I know every wild ride I chose required her to choose—either to build me up or to press me down. My mom handed me the scissors and, with a smile, allowed me to cut the apron strings and go far beyond what was comfortable for her.
This last week my son got his driver’s license, and now it is my turn to choose. Worry or a hearty smile—which will I give to him?
Let us stand in ovation to the mothers who give their children the ability to live freely.
Christy Fitzwater is a writer and pastor’s wife in Kalispell, Montana. She is also the mother of a daughter in college and a son in high school. She has an English degree from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. Visit her at http://www.christyfitzwater.com.