When I was a kid, my mom leaned in, looked me in the eye and spoke these genius words of wisdom that I’ll never forget, “Before I was a mom, I was a person.”
That really struck me, even at a young age. You see, I always held my mom up on this towering pedestal because, in my eyes, she was perfect. I loved her so much, I wanted to be with her every second and when she wanted some *gasp* time alone, I just couldn’t wrap my head around it. Looking back, I can see how a single mom of two (who often worked two jobs and struggled to make ends meet) really needed some alone time, some girl time, some wine time, some time to just feel like the person she was before the responsibilities weighed so heavy on her shoulders.
Those few simple words put it all into perspective for me. She wasn’t just my mom. She was a person, she was a friend, she was a daughter, she had ambitions . . . she was human. And by the way, even before she was my mom, she was awesome. Which brings me to my latest online obsession, the website My Parents Were Awesome.
The photos on this site speak volumes. Our parents had eyes filled with hope, with love, with naiveté. They were cool, they rebelled, they pushed boundaries, they weren’t jaded by some of life’s harsh realities (yet). They dove in, they blasted their music, they ran, they dreamed, they took risks. They loved, they laughed . . . they were human.
When you become a parent your whole world really does get flipped upside down. Sometimes we feel like our old selves are buried beneath diapers and toys and the baby-proofed furniture that used to be our newlywed home (that we swore would never look like Romper Room but, of course, now could be its body-double). But My Parents Were Awesome and my mom’s words will always remind me that no matter how much more I relate to being a mom with every day that passes, I was a person long before I was a parent. There are many things I’ll look back on and be proud of. There are some things I’d rather hide (who dressed me in the 90s, anyway?). And along the way I’ve collected many, many photos that document it all.
Hopefully my kids will look back one day and think that, long ago, I was also awesome.