Saturday, May 10, 2008

My Mom: My biggest fan

** This is my post as seen on The Mercury's Mother's Day 2008 blog. I wanted to republish it for anyone who may not have followed the link.

My Mom: My biggest fan

There are some things your mother does that, as a child, you don't realize how important they are until you grow up. My mom has always been my head cheerleader and it wasn't until recently that I realized how important it was for me.

Growing up, my mom was always there for any, and every, silly event I participated. I never sat and waited for her to show up because she was always there in the audience. Waving and shouting things like "Yeah, Diane. Way to go!"

I don't remember too much about things I did as a really young child, but I know she was there for ballet and tap recitals, gymnastic classes, swimming lessons (lots of swimming lessons) and school assemblies.

It wasn't until high school that I really noticed my mom's presence. It started when I joined the color guard in high school. As weird and uncool as it was my mom was there 100 percent, and that made it not-so uncool for me. Having the love and support of my mom made my high school band experience a wonderful, fun time that was filled with opportunity and real life lessons.

One of the biggest lessons I learned was the one of commitment. When I first joined the color guard I had no idea what it was. I moved from Catholic elementary school to public high school in ninth grade. I only knew one person and that one person was in the band and since I had (and still have) absolutely no musical talent, the only way I could participate in the same extracurricular activity as my only friend was to join the color guard.

After the first practice, I wanted to quit. I didn't want to start at my new school doing what I assumed was the dorkiest activity there was. Plus, I had to go to band camp. In August … during the hottest week of the summer … to run around outside with a flag.

I wanted to quit that day and I told my mom. She told me that I made a commitment when I joined the band and people were counting on me to follow through with my commitment. She said if after the first year I didn't want to do it again, I didn't have to, but I had to give them the year. If it wasn't for those words, I would have missed out on so many opportunities I couldn't have had any place else.

I didn't quit and I continued performing in the band and in the off season I joined the indoor color guard for the duration of my high school years. It was fun and I made lots of friends who weren't dorky and uncool. Plus, I got good at it and I got to do a lot of traveling. It was an experience I'm glad I didn't miss.

During band and indoor guard season, my mom was always in the stands cheering as loud as she could. She took on the roll of band parent as best as she could. She went to high school football games to see the band perform the half-time show. She stood in the freezing cold week after week to see me perform in competitions. She was there for me when we had terrible performances and she would jump up and down and scream her loudest when we had great ones.

After high school, I went to college and she was just as supportive even though I was becoming an adult and pushing her away. She never became discouraged and now, through my adult years, she is as supportive as ever.

It's not just that she's supportive; it's that she is genuinely proud and interested in everything I do. From my wedding and the birth of my children, to new jobs and new homes, my mom has been there for me proclaiming to anyone who will listen that I am her daughter and she is proud of my accomplishments.

Most recently, I was talking to her about my blog. She said, "I'm a fan of The Mommy Diaries. I'm probably your biggest fan."

Yes, I know you are, Mom, and I love you for it. Thank you for always being my biggest fan, no matter what I did. I am the woman and mother I am today because of your encouragement. I can only hope that one day my own children can look back and say I was just as supportive as you were to me.

Thank you, Mom.