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Four Years at the Mount

Senior year

Unsung Hero

Katie Powell
MSM Class of 2015

Hero. Role Model. Leader. When you read these words, a person comes to mind. Who is it? Is it a famous actor or singer, a historical figure, a friend? Do you think of someone you used to see as your idol, but has since fallen from your graces? Take a minute and think about it. What is special about them, if anything at all?

Now I want you to think about your mom. I mean this term loosely: think of the woman who raised you; maybe she is not your birth mother. It could be your grandmother, an adopted mother, an aunt, or even a father. Your mom is the person who cuddled you when you couldn’t sleep at night. She sang to you, perhaps poorly, to ease your pain. She was there from the day you met her and she never left you.

Are your mom and your hero the same person? Because for me, they are—and I will tell you why that is how it ought to be.

Recently I have seen my mom go through some of the toughest months of her entire life, and through it all, her number one concern was my sister and me. In fact, I can almost guarantee that your mom has had something similar happen to her. It got me thinking and I realized that moms deserve much more credit than we often give them.

From the instant your mom saw you, she loved you. Whether she carried you in her womb or did not meet you until you were three years old, she loved you, perhaps even before she met you, and her left has never ceased since. As you grew up, your mom’s love evolved but never faded. Every time you screamed ‘I hate you,’ she loved you. When you tried to run away, she loved you. When you failed your first test, and she was angry with you, she loved you. Even when you colored on the walls in Sharpie, she loved you. And she will continue to love you, unfailingly, forever.

She protects you fiercely. You have probably heard the story of the woman picking up a car to save her child underneath. Your mom has done this for you, at least metaphorically. I can remember many times when I was not strong enough to face something on my own, so my mom helped me out as my right hand man, and enforcer, only if I needed it. She watched me ride my bike—five houses down either way, and sprinted like no other if I teetered off. She kissed the booboos and wiped the tears and sewed ripped clothes. She always had your back.

She loses countless hours of sleep over you. As a baby, you made sure your mom did not sleep, needing to eat every few hours. As a toddler, "Mommy wake up" was her alarm. Throughout elementary and middle school, she had to make sure you were up and ready to go before she even ate breakfast. When you were seventeen or so and you got your license and you would stay up past curfew, so did your mom. When you were twenty-one and going out with your friends until three am, somehow finding your way back to bed, your mom was up too. Honestly, I don’t think my mom has ever stopped losing sleep over me. I doubt yours has, either.

Your mom let you fail. She let you procrastinate your science fair project till the last minute. Maybe she let you go on a date with the "bad boy" in high school. She let you stay up past your bedtime so you could watch a show. She didn’t make you study all the time, and sometimes she didn’t make you get ready early enough. But, when you were panicking about your project, she helped you finish it. When the bad boy broke your heart, she put it back together. She let you sleep in a little later if you were up too late. If you were running late for school, she helped you get ready. She let you fail. But then she made sure you still succeeded, with a new life lesson under your belt.

She pushed you to try new things, and encouraged you wholeheartedly. When I was nine, I had a neighbor who did color guard in high school, and I would watch her practice in her front yard. I told my mom I wanted to do it, and she told me that I could—never mind that I had zero coordination or rhythm. Around the same time, the summer swim team was starting, and I said I would try it. I was not very athletic, and I wanted to quit after the first day. But my mom told me to stick out the summer. My mom was not raising a quitter. Twelve years later, I am one week away from my last competition as a Division one swimmer. My mom is the reason I made it to where I am today.

You are her everything. Chess competition? She’ll drive. Wrestling match? She’ll buy you dinner after. Swim meet? She’ll make you pasta. Class field trip? She’ll chaperone. Mom is your cheerleader. Seeing you succeed means the world to her, because you are her world. She is at every school play, competition, field day, and class room party that she can possibly attend because she loves the look on your face when you’ve had a good day, won a match, got a good grade, or succeeded in any way. She would do anything to make sure you always have that look on your face.

Moms are always there for you. Granted, I wrote this based mostly on my mom, but I talked to other people too and they backed me up. Moms are the unsung heroes in all of our lives. We all have role models that we look up to and aspire to be like. Rarely, however, do we think that we want to be like our moms, but we should. They teach by example, showing us what it means to love unconditionally and wholeheartedly, give without reserve, and expect nothing in return. They give us everything that we need so that we in turn can give everything we have to the world, but some of us never do. We all must look inside of ourselves and remember what our moms taught us, and use that as our role model. Give selflessly. Encourage your loved ones. Remember the little things. Overall, love others more than yourself. Be the person that your mom raised you to be.

Read other articles by Katie Powell