Friday, September 2, 2011

Good Job! You Can Do It!

In the past few days I have had an opportunity to take stock of what it means to be a mother and these reflections aren’t singular to motherhood; they can be applied to being a spouse or partner, friend or sibling. We all need people who “have our back” or serve as our unfailing cheerleaders in life, because the reality is that we can’t ever do this alone.

Life requires partnership.

For a very long time my own mother was my back bone and cheerleader. Many mothers are and I don’t think I’m unique here. During a search for something unrelated, I came across this magazine clipping she sent to me when I was away from home for the first time as a freshman in college. There are so many things I’ve found since her death that come from times when we were apart and her messages to me then seem to come back and speak to me again…now that we’re separated by time, space, heaven and earth.

LOOK! The actual clipping!
Now she's your cheerleader, too!

And what they’re teaching me is that we all need support.

I see people on the Internet all the time, through the veil of anonymity or the shade of the “Comments Section” being absolutely awful to one another, saying things they’d never dream of letting pass their lips. But when they are typing the words seem to come so freely. The words my mother wrote to me are my living reminders of the best she had for me, the encouragement and love.

I wonder what reminders we’re leaving for each other in comments and snippets all over the internet…when a friend needs a small boost, can they look to your written words to see how you felt? To draw a “re-meaning” from your old messages? I wonder what trails we’re leaving under names like “misskitty420” that are mean-spirited and spiteful. Someday someone will go back to that one and feel something about it…was it the best Miss Kitty420 could leave?

When I find these long lost reminders from my mom it’s like she’s back with me for two seconds. Her intention re-imparts itself to me and the support is there, the cheerleader shakes her pom-poms once more. I NEED that in my life and I don’t think it’s showing a weakness to say it.

I NEED people around me who support me and cheer for me, no matter how badly I’m playing the game! No matter how much I’m whining and moaning about my position or performance; I need people who tell me I’m doing great, and keep it up.

Everyone does.

Whether we admit it openly or not, we all feel like little kids whose bodies have gotten bigger, whose allowances have turned into direct deposits and whose toys now have titles and bank loans attached. We’re all walking around wondering when someone’s going to figure out that we’re a fraud and have no business having the responsibility that we do. And here’s when our mothers, fathers, spouses, friends and even children come in to save the day and give us the “Atta boy/girl!”

Who are you leading through cheer? Which person in your life will someday find a small reminder of the care you felt for them? And to whom do you look for the care?

Everything from a jet plane to a slug leaves a trail…and some trails are more dynamic than others. Each day we are given an opportunity to leave a trail and choose which type it’ll be. Every day you have the opportunity to be a dynamic cheerleader for friends and strangers alike.

Which will you choose? Which trail will you leave behind? I challenge you to leave behind the spectacular trail of the jet plane, of the mother who loved her child beyond space and time or life and death, or the trail of a good and dear friend.

I know you can do it, because I think you're the best!

*PHOTOS!, my phone, and