Being a guy, I’m no expert on motherhood. I know what a great mom is, because I was born with one and am married to one. Both live under the same roof with me, so it’s easy to get a powerful picture of a wonderful mom, every day.
From my perspective, a great mom makes us better. They challenge us, they encourage us, they adore us.
So yes, I know what an amazing mother can do for us.
What I don’t know from first-hand knowledge is, “What does a child do for a mother?”
A friend on Facebook gave me a glimpse the other day. I met Shelby in Montgomery, Ala., before an event where I was speaking back in 2015. She friended me and, like many Facebook friendships, I enjoy keeping up with her life—especially this last weekend.
Over the last several years, Shelby took on a whirlwind life; as a model, aspiring actress, a commercial production specialist at a television station, and as a college student. Oh, and single mom.
Last weekend, Shelby received her college degree. And in her Facebook post commemorating the occasion, she shared the inspiration for all she’s accomplished:
I really don't know of a good starting point to even begin. Do I start at the fact I GOT TO WALK and attend my graduation ceremony, do I start at how this University tried to kill me only to make be better, stronger, and to achieve new growth? Do I start at the little girl, waving at me in the audience saying, "That's my Momma!"
Do I start at the countless people I made cry today because I said my little girl was the reason I fought each and every day? Or lastly, do I start with my amazing professors that have become mentors and role models or how much I love my school?
I can't even begin to imagine compartmentalizing this amazing, difficult, crazy, exhausting chapter in the walk of life. It has for sure brought me to my knees with mental, emotional, physical elements. From losing ten pounds in a week due to stress, having the shakes from anxiety to holding my daughter and realizing I had no choice but to finish this for her.
Laura Leigh has seen me do many things that most children don't get to watch their parent do but through its struggles, I wouldn't want it any other way. This child has inspired me and given me a strength I never knew I had. I hope one day, she realizes she is the main impact on all that I achieve.
But maybe I say all this to extract one main point: Don't ever stop fighting for the achievements you desire. If you really want something, you will find a way and if you don't, you will find an excuse. Life is a journey, not a destination. Enjoy the hard times because one day you will realize they are the reason you can be proud of where you stand today.
Thank you for everyone who has supported me and Laura Leigh every step of the way. Thank you AUM (Auburn University-Montgomery) for giving this young, single mom an opportunity I might not have had. “If God be for us, then WHO is against us?"
Did we get that? Shelby wants us to know, “This child has inspired me and given me a strength I never knew I had. I hope one day, she realizes she is the main impact on all that I achieve.”
Little 5-year-old Laura Leigh likely idolizes her mom, but what captures me is Shelby’s insistence on giving a little girl—once an unplanned pregnancy—the credit for making her better and providing the inspiration for so many achievements, including a college degree.
A lot of moms will be celebrated this weekend, and that’s as it should be. But in Montgomery, Ala., a single mom—now engaged, by the way—will celebrate what a child did for her. This is worth commemorating, too.
Tweet This: This #MothersDay, let's celebrate the children who change us for the better. @KirkWalden #prolife