I’m sure you’ve seen the bumper sticker that reads, “Lord please help me to become the person my dog thinks I am.” Yea, that too, but I’d rather be the person my son believes I am. He is 7 years old.
I could never be the “World’s Best Mother”. I couldn’t if I tried. Motherhood has got to be the most rewarding, fulfilling, but incredibly and insanely difficult job ever imagined! There are so many things to take into consideration. This is my chance to make the world a better place, to donate the best adult I can to this world. Each night I go into his room to check on him after he goes to sleep and each night I pray I can do justice to God’s Precious Gift to Me. I pray I can be what he needs me to be, and the strength to follow through to be a better mother. But to my son, he thinks I’m the World’s Best Mom simply because we went to Taco Bell.
Jordon Brilliant, Karen Brilliant Andrews - me
I’ve also been told I “rock”. I’m not entirely sure what that means, but I’m guessing that’s a good thing… Last night at his Boy Scout Meeting, they had “Paper Airplane Derbies”. If you haven’t been to a Boy Scout Meeting, it’s predominately a “guy thing”. At most of his Boy Scout functions, I’m a bit out of my element. Take the camping trip a couple weeks ago: 8 little guys, 7 grown ones, and me. The only girl. But I go, have fun, go hiking, and sleep on the ground, even though I prefer “Camp Marriott” or “Camp Holiday Inn”. I’m learning how fathers and sons interact, and am taking notes you see, I’m a single mother. It can be tough to be a single mother. But you know what? Apparently, I’m doing OK! All it took for my son to say, “Mom, you rock!” was knowing how to fold a great paper airplane. Who knew? He lost, but you know what? I rocked!
He tells me I’m the “World’s Best Cooker”. I’ve made my mom’s recipe of Mac and Cheese accompanied by Bar-Be-Que Weenies…one of his favorites. I almost have it – never being quite as good my mother’s, of course. I’ve tried several ways to fry chicken, finally have a way that’s almost as good as KFC’s – almost. I've read cookbooks, made pastries, fresh biscuits, and fresh pasta with only flour, eggs, milk, and a rolling pin. Yet to become the “World’s Best Cooker”, all it takes is a cheap box of mac and cheese and an even cheaper can of hot dog sauce. Necessity is the mother of invention: I call it Chili Mac, and it costs about $1.00 to make.
But when I look in the mirror, I don’t see the “World’s Best Mom”, or “The World’s Best Cooker”. I see an aging single women who never reached her full potential. I see every mistake I made, re-live every bad choice I ever made, and feel my heart ache for that one great guy I pushed away. I see all the choices made leading to the fact I'm a single mother.
I see my former classmates conquering the world, setting out to do the very things they dreamed and said they would do. I know in my heart of was capable of the same accomplishments, but I’m here struggling with meal planning on $1.00. My choices and were different. Maybe I should have done this, maybe I should have done that…and I would be able to provide better for my son. However, I woke up one day almost 40 years old, graying hair, never married, no house of my own, no new car, no savings account…and every goal I set for myself unfinished. I re-live some mistakes and bad choices, and see the lost opportunities. Mistake after mistake after mistake. I see a person who loves her son dearly, but could’ve done a better job of providing if only…
“Mamma”, my son asks, “did you ever do anything wrong?”
How does he see an entirely different person? How does that happen?
If I could just be the person my son believes I am…
Not a day goes by that I don’t love my son more and more. Last night when his paper airplane didn’t win, he was upset. I explained good sportsmanship, sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. He was still upset, a mix of being mad and crying. I tried to get him to laugh. He said he wanted to stay mad and didn’t want to laugh. Well, he started laughing. He looks up at me, immediately smiles, and gives me the BIGGEST hug and says, “Mom, we sure have some good times, don’t we?”
I wouldn’t change my life for anything. Thank-you, Lord!
I wrote this 18 years ago, and my son is now 24 years old. He paid is way through college on his own with no debt, bought and paid for his car that is nicer and newer than anything I have ever owned. He is preparing to move into his brand new and freshly built home with his girlfriend with a balcony view of the ocean. I was a proud mom then, and an even prouder mom now!
Below is a photo of me, my son, his girlfriend, her mother and her grandmother
Karen Brilliant Andrews - me, Jordon Brilliant, Liv Lorusso, Amy Lorusso, Carole Nickerson