I am the proud mother of a six year old daughter and two year old son.
If my grandmother and grandma were physically here today the chatter at our table would sound a lot different than our last years together. They would be filling my coffee cup with “now you gotta…”, “you know you can’t let her…”, “I don’t know about that, Courtney…”, “He’s gonna be a handful….” and “Yea is not a word, it is yes ma’am!”
Conversations I never had the opportunity to enjoy with my grandparents. Though, because of my experiences growing up, recollections have allowed me to interpret what their opinion and commentary would have included.
Many days I find myself reminiscing about those experiences.
From the summer chore of filling the five gallon buckets with pine cones before dad got home from work, watermelon seed spitting contest with my uncles and cousins, raking the leaves at my grandparents’ house, getting up at five a.m. to put the boat in the lake and fish, and infamous ‘lock ins’ with our church youth group. Then, there was the day my granddaddy told my mom he had signed me up and pre-paid for me to take a karate class. No outs. No excuses.
I will never forget my granddaddy’s reasoning for taking those karate classes. He wanted his granddaughter to learn self-defense, how to follow the guidance and rules of others and discipline. A simple goal and small investment in his granddaughter’s upbringing.
Had the prospect to work with The First Tee come early in my career, my appreciation for the mission and opportunity it carries in communities would not have resonated.
Why? I didn’t have mommy brain, yet!
On Mother’s Day weekend 2008 my husband and I were surprised to find out we were pregnant. But, even more surprised to receive the call were the future grandparents!
In that moment my perspective changed.
Fast forward 20 months later and we are the privileged parents of a one year old daughter, Palmer, who was walking, talking and happily throwing balls for the dogs to retrieve. My quiet time was spent trying to figure out what experiences we could provide this quickly growing, ever evolving blue eyed baby.
Again, my perspective had changed.
As our family grew in age and size so did my awareness of the unbalanced teeter tooter between struggles and opportunities that youth are beginning to face at a very young age. A problem that was not nearly as exaggerated during my childhood.
Happily I am not alone. Every MOM or adult that has filled the role of mom has an innate desire to provide children with the best opportunities, skills and mentors.
In my first ninety days at The First Tee of the Sandhills, I have learned that the moms in our programs are extra special. They are the grandmother’s fighting the carpool line to get their grandkids to programs on time, the retired teachers volunteering their time as leaders to help encourage and guide the next generation, the full time working mothers, sisters and aunts making adjustments in their work week to carve out 90 minutes for a special child in their life. The analogies go on but the stories only get better and better.
These moms have all experienced what I have.
The change in perspective.
Together, we are looking for life experiences that the next generation can latch onto in a positive environment. Together, we are trying to balance out the wobbly teeter tooter that is in front of our future leaders and decision makers. Together, we are positively impacting the lives of young people.
On this and every Mother’s Day I am thankful for the past, present and future moms. The moms who volunteer at The First Tee of the Sandhills, the moms who sign their children up for our programs and the moms who arrive early and stay late to make sure participants have the best experience possible.
To you, Happy Mother’s Day!