Lessons Learned from Mom: Dear Baby Girl

From the day you were born, I would sneak in and just watch you sleep. My baby girl. Your Lil’ cherub face lost in dream gave me such a sense of peace. However, I feel like the tides are turning as I watch you peacefully asleep. Knowing that you are heading towards a storm that there’s nothing I can do to protect you from. You see the truth in these lessons is this is a cold cruel world. There will be times where you will come to understand “What doesn’t break you only makes you stronger”. This will define the rest of your life.

Broken hearts & challenges

I think back to some of the challenges I face that you’re beginning to as well. You see what you don’t know right now are those broken hearts and challenges will build character. The character that will make you who you are and who you may not have turned out to be.

Starting with how I chuckle at parent-teacher conferences.  Teachers express your chattiness in the classroom and your tendencies to be bossy. My parents kindly remind me that the first day of kindergarten they were offered the How to raise the strong-willed Child book. Mom handed it back to the teacher politely telling them “It is just her independence”. 

That was a pivotal part of my life that allowed me to be me.  I have never quite fit in, wasn’t the most popular girl, and never had a pack of friends. And this is OK as I have real genuine friendships now that would be disappointed if I compromised who I am. You may refer to some of mommy’s friends as “aunties” and they stick around for life.

Find the Common Denominator

Then there was the day you were crying over feeling like you had no one to play with at recess and feeling so lonely. These are the lessons that break a momma’s heart. Oh, boy I have been there and still feel there at times.

In Junior high, we moved to a small, rural school where most of the students had grown up together. The kids were l less than inviting. I had gum stuck in my hair, called all sorts of names and never invited to any parties. I refused to feel isolated so sought out many ways to get attention.

These lessons taught me to always be friendly, find a common denominator and look for the good in everyone. With my career, I use this skill to make valuable connections and empathize to those that feel like they just don’t quite fit in.  It wasn’t until I started sports that I found a way to fit in and likely why your Mommy still finds a way to be active in sports whether in career, as a coach or just participating.

Game On 

As I got older I realized that I was pretty darn boy crazy. I believed if I made myself relatable then this would be the way to get the boy’s attention. So I found any pick-up game there was to battle my way to be seen as equal.  And when needing to make conversation I could recite the ESPN highlight reel from the night before. Unfortunately, all this did was make me the tomboy next door. 

During my junior year these upper-class guys started asking me out. I have to admit it was strange but I did enjoy the positive attention. Well, the joke was on them when a friend broke the news by giving me a penny bank that was labeled at the top Fort Knox. These guys had started a game to see who could be the first to take my virginity. Since this is my body no one has a right to it let alone to make a game out of it. # mybodymyright

You bet it hurt. But this ability to be relatable is what helped me with my career in sport. I can sit at the table with an NFL general manager talk shop and still look feminine.

Your Body Your Right

When entering college, I had my chance to try this differently by wearing more girl like clothes and putting the occasional makeup on. Finally, it must have worked as I kept noticing someone on the basketball team watching me at practice to find out that he had a crush on ME! He was handsome, intelligent and had a beautiful jumper. I felt like I finally had someone who got me but that was short lived. He was belligerent, stunk of cheap beer and a stone face.

One night I had enough and just left. As I turned the corner in the hall I felt this pressure as my shoulder blades were pressed unto the wall. Thank God for that impulsive rage that got me into trouble growing up as it came to protect me.  I don’t remember a single thing except my fist hitting the side of his cheek so hard. I rushed back to the dorm that night sitting there trembling but yet numb feeling like the black cloud was back… alone again.

#mybodymyright #almostmetoo He called me the next night as if nothing had happened. I knew in the pit of my stomach he would never change. Years later found out he was in jail for distribution of drugs. Promise me you actually listen to that gut instinct.

Giving up lead me right to your Daddy

Baby girl I can’t protect you from these things happening but I will be here for you. Continue to learn lessons in life. I will promise you that if you let them play out and appreciate the journey you are on that you will eventually have an understanding. Think if it hadn’t been for me giving up on finding true love I wouldn’t have accepted going on a blind, double date to meet your daddy. I never knew true love till I met him and I wouldn’t have you. You make me a better person, better woman as I know I have you watching.

Always two steps behind you just in case. Lessons in my life.