Do you know what I longed for when I was a little girl? A relaxed, confident mom who was adventurous and loved life, who wanted to go places and do stuff. My mom was confident and smart. She also worked hard and taught me to be responsible, quiet, cautious, tidy and obedient. Those are all great and necessary things. They keep you gainfully employed and in long term relationships. They help you succeed in school and in life. They ensure that you are a productive member of society.
What they don't do, though, is give you wings...like the kind of wings you need to have hope, to move mountains, to make hard decisions, to try scary things, to live an abundant life.
I always wanted to just relax with my mom, to flop on her bed and tell her whatever outlandish, impractical thing I was thinking that day and feel totally safe doing it. It's difficult to be a relaxed parent of a teenager, though. I know from experience that sometimes when kids flop on the bed and tell us their hopes and dreams, we instinctively feel compelled to point out that ponies don't come in pink, that the top 10 of American Idol is an almost impossible thing to actually achieve, and that not everything works out the way we expect it to.
When Chris and my Auntie Debbie were here this week, they asked if it brought me peace to know the truth about my birth family. Yes, it absolutely brought me peace to have answers to my questions. But I sort of already had them. I think, in my heart I knew that Chris was my mom. But I also knew that it was never ok to pursue any questions I had about her, so I just kept them in my head, longing for sometime in the FAR future when I could ask all of them, but not really knowing for sure if I would ever get the opportunity.
But the greater gift I think that I've been given since finding Chris is those wings that I longed for as a little girl. Total acceptance, permission to dream big, and inspiration to live an abundant life.
Chris is amazing. She pushes me toward my instincts and toward the things that I already love. She encourages the innate parts of my personality. I never feel like I have to lose weight, keep a cleaner house, or be smarter or funnier. I'm already good enough for her. She is relaxed, positive, confident and accepting. She loves to go places and do stuff and try new things. She is the very definition of "JUST JUMP!"
But what a blessing it is now to be able to flop on her (guest) bed and tell her all the crazy things I think, and have her just listen. I look at the life that she lives and the things that she's endured and they remind me that absolutely anything is possible.
And do you know what's funny (like interesting funny, not hilarious funny)? When I listen to Chris talk, she SOUNDS like my mom. Her voice and her accent are the same as my mom's. The way she says my name sounds like my mom. It's this sort of oddly comforting thing that I love about her. It makes me realize that Chris and my mom are both part of that "destiny" that I longed for as a little girl, the mom of my childhood and the mom of my adulthood. Chris reminds me of what my mom was like when she was at her very best. When she would come into my room singing, "Good morning to you! Good morning to you!" When I would come home from college and she would want to know every detail of the months that had passed. When I brought my babies to visit in HOU. Chris is what my mom probably would have been like if she were still here today and unburdened by health issues and financial stress...confident, happy, interested in my life and my family. Wouldn't we all be at our best without the cares of the world weighing on us?
Last night I drove home from the airport area after dropping them off, and promised her I'd call to let her know I had gotten home safely. When she picked up the phone, she sounded so much like my mom. And then at the end when she said, "I love you, my darling daughter," I heard my mom's voice. The longings of my heart instantly became reality.
So all that stuff about ponies and American Idol and preparing for disappointments, I no longer think are as important to tell my kids as the part where absolutely anything is possible, that if you listen to those longings you can make even the most unattainable goals attainable, and that they should HOPE for everything because it's all within reach.