Twenty-five years ago, I was eight months pregnant with my first baby girl. Not quite a mother, but my protruding belly was proof that in just a few weeks I would qualify for that title. Mom. Three letters. (Two, if, like my family, it was further shortened to Ma). Such a small word for such an important role.
I always thought some sort of directions were given when one became a mom and that I would know how to handle situations like June Cleaver. Imagine my 18-year-old mind finding out that nothing was further from the truth. This was some intense on the job training - I was clueless. But it was the most amazing feeling I ever experienced. I have been a proud mother since that first toothless smile from the now 24-year-old to the semi-toothless smile of my sweet 6-year-old to every smile from my 20-year-old mini-me. We were doing okay then - figuring out life together.
But then addiction became part of our story and we were all in uncharted territory. I went from being a "soccer mom" to an alcoholic in a matter of a few short years.
Oh boy did I make mistakes. Like big, huge ones. I've had to apologize to my girls so many times. I'm infinitely blessed that they are kind, gracious, and forgiving young women.
If you're struggling today because you're estranged from your mom or your own children; I offer this suggestion. Contact them. Now. Today. Reach out say Happy Mother's Day. Say I'm sorry. Ask for forgiveness or give it if need be. Life's too short not to love and be loved.
Over the years I've done some forgiveness myself. I've learned that just as I made mistakes so had the generations before me. I learned that if I expected forgiveness, I had to offer it as well. We all are simply doing the best we can. As we learn better, we do better.
I hit the jackpot with my girls. They are amazing, and I really like them as people. The oldest went on a mission to Thailand, graduated college, and has her own business. She and her awesome boyfriend have started running together. They just recently finished their first half marathon.
Mini-me is studying American Sign Language and has a gift of extreme empathy for others. If you call her friend, consider yourself lucky!
And my little Miss has plans to become a famous star and a dancer. And I don't see any reason why that can't happen.
I'm their mom, no matter what. No one else gets the privilege of being called momma by them. We only get one mom, for better or worse, till death do us part.
Amy Small is a Shatterproof Ambassador