Mom, I Now Get It ~ Happy Mother’s Day
On 6:21 p.m. on August 2, 1995, my life changed forever. That was the moment 8 pounds and 10.5 ounces crawled into my heart and made it’s home, taking every inch of love I could offer and in return giving me hope and joy I never knew was possible. I was no longer just MarieSam Sanchez … now I was Cheyenne’s Mommie.
And just like that, it was no longer my life, it was our life.
*DISCLAIMER: If you know a woman who did not look like a hot mess after childbirth, SHE IS AN ALIEN. Period. Obviously, I am not an alien …
Motherhood at the age of 19 was a bit of a daze for me. Coming from a strict Filipino upbringing, you can only imagine how my pregnancy shook my world. I wasn’t very forthcoming with being pregnant, in fact for more than eight months only three people in my circle knew of the life that was growing inside of me — Cheyenne’s Dad, her Dad’s best friend and Cyndi, my best friend at the time. Call it naivete or simply youth ~ I was in denial with not a plan in mind but every fear pulsating through my veins.
And because I know you’re wondering how I kept the news from my family and all my friends … they simply thought I was getting fat. Yep, fat. And I went right along with it. Crazy, I know. But when you’re young, pregnant and totally clueless you ride the waves as they come to you like lonely seaweed drifting aimlessly atop the big blue sea.
When my parents finally did find out, they scheduled a mandatory emergency meeting with all my aunts, uncles and cousins present. They were in panic mode. In fact, I can still vividly remember my Mom crying and dropping to her knees in my room when I admitted I was pregnant. She and my Dad were at a loss, immediately thinking that all my dreams, aspirations and hopes to “be somebody” were slipping away.
The day they found out — just three weeks before I was due — there was contemplation on whether I should be kicked out of the house. Yes, they were that angry with me, but honestly I couldn’t really blame them. I acted irresponsibly and I had failed.
But from the moment Cheyenne was born, my parents’ anger slowly diminished and today I can honestly say, I think they love her more than they love me, hahaha 🙂 But I can’t really blame em, Chey is the most amazing child and those who know her love her … I am so blessed.
Raising Cheyenne as a single mom was no easy task. But strangely enough, becoming a teenage mom actually forced me to get my $hit together rather than allowing my dreams for success to slip away. It made me want to accomplish even more because it was no longer just me, it was me and Chey. Between putting myself through USC, working at a law office, juggling two or three internships at a time and taking Chey to school, after-school activities, her afterschool learning program (Kumon), and dance-singing-piano-guitar-art classes — I had no choice but to persevere, it was not an option. I simply had to do it.
But I would never have been able to raise the beautiful teenager I have today, if it wasn’t for the love, support and care of my both my parents. And on this day, I pay special homage to My Mom.
Today, I now understand why Mom did the things she did while I was growing up …
The stern pinches during church when my brother and I would act up … because God truly needs a place in our lives.
The lectures when I would come home too late from being out … because your heart really does stop when you don’t know where your child is.
Raising your voice when you see your child’s messy room … because it really is tough to have a child who is not always organized.
The disappointment you feel when your child has done something mean or unethical, be it lie, cheat, steal or having mistreated someone … because your child’s failures or wrongdoings really do feel like your own.
This list could go on and on, because now … I get it. Mom, I really do.
Being a Mother is life’s greatest privilege but also its greatest challenge. It brings you joy unlike any other, love like you’ve never known, but can also bring you heartache that strokes the deepest part of your soul. And unlike every other job in this world, there is no time off, you do not retire, because you are Mom always and forever 🙂
I know I would not be half the person I am today without my Mother’s guidance and care throughout all these years (the other half I owe to my Dad.) I am so blessed to have such a strong and incredible woman in my life. And it is my greatest hope that I raise Cheyenne as well as my Mom raised me.
On this day I give my deepest thanks to my Mom and *kudos* to all the Mommies and Mommies-to-Be out there. We are the lassos that hold families together, the keepers of hope and tradition in every home, and the backbone to all of life’s joys, struggles and woes. Children are a reflection of their mothers, grandmothers and all the women before them. And because of “Mom” every corner of this earth is a much better place.
Thank you Mom (and Dad) for all that you do and all that you have impressed upon me as I take my own journey through motherhood … I love you <3