Once this mom even went to a couple cool parties. And she went to a concert, an R-E-O Speedwagon concert was her first, and it was awesome. Back then, there were lighters to hold up.
And she once got to travel to New York City, with a friend. And she went to the top of the Empire State Building and took pictures, and dreamed big dreams. And, oh how she'd go back again one day to show her kids.
Sometimes this mom-as-a-girl would stay out past her 10:30 curfew and get grounded. Sometimes it was even worth it. But she learned about calculated risks. And about her parents that cared about the things that happened out there after dark.
She learned about saving her money for a rainy day..because it was so worth those Guess jeans that zipped up at the ankle in eighth grade. She thinks those things are so funny now..but it taught her to make good choices. And sometimes she learned from those-not-so-good choices, like when she bought Sun-in to lighten her hair. ('Cause you have to keep doing it every few weeks..and you can never stop) (well..you can but then you have that two-tone look. And that's not good.)
And she got to date. To build her self-esteem, to see who she liked to keep company with, to see what she required in a mate, to learn to say no, to learn what she didn't like. And she got to experience some free dinners and bowling and movies, and that's definitely a perk, friends.
And all that built her up! She pretty much knew she could do anything. She worked at a lumber yard, and she could tell those men (men!) what they needed to repair a toilet, or how many square feet a square of shingles could cover, or the difference in a stud and an 2x4-8' board. She was built up because she had opportunities. And now she has her own drill. And chop saw. And table saw. And she can build things..and she tries to teach her kids they can do anything.
And..part of that is letting them go. To Chicago with their daddy for the National Sports Collectors' Convention. Or with a girlfriend to a Taylor Swift concert in another state. They'll learn to be brave, bold humans. And they'll be great parents too. That momma learned from some pretty brave people how to let her kids go.
Cause it makes you cry to see them drive away after they've made their choice.
But then you get to look at all the benefits you are still reaping after you've taken advantage of your own opportunities. And it's worth it.
Even when her daughter calls and her blood sugar is 49. Just wait for all the stories she'll have to tell when she gets home tomorrow. Be brave, and parent brave kids. I've heard it's totally worth it. ; )