Once Upon a Time, My Mom Was a Little Girl
I grew up my entire life believing that my mother’s life started the day she had me (save your jokes…I realize how self-centered this is). Well, okay…maybe the day she had my older brother, Matthew. But “mom” was all we knew her to be. She was our mom and that was her role. After me, she had my younger brother, Will. A few years later, Suzanne arrived and completed our family of six.
Most people call my mom, Darl or Darlene, but she was born Emma Darlene Biles on May 28, 1953. That’s what I tend to forget sometimes, or honestly didn't realize until I got sober and realized the world doesn't revolve around me (big shocker for me too). My mom had a life before she ever had kids. That's what I tend to forget sometimes.
She lived 24 years without any of us being a thought. I mean, sure…she probably imagined having kids one day, but she had 24 years of being Emma Darlene; a daughter, a granddaughter, a sister, a friend, a wife, a niece, a student, and a teacher. She was a little girl who played with dolls and sang in the church choir. She had dreams and fears and hopes of what her future would be like. She was smart, like really smart. She skipped second grade she was so smart. She started UNC Greensboro in 1970 and graduated in 1973. She got ready for first dates. She met my dad and fell in love. She planned a wedding and she was beautiful bride. She was a school teacher. She had a first day of being “Ms. Biles” to a classroom full of kids who adored her. She got pregnant and had a baby shower, and eventually she became a mom to four kids who think she hung the moon.
All of this…this is what I sometimes forget . I need to remember that my mom’s life didn’t begin with the birth of her children. I need to remember that we are not the only purpose God put her on this earth, but we are four of many. I need to remember that while my mom doesn’t always ask for help and probably isn’t going to, she sometimes needs it and appreciates it when it’s offered. I need to remember that my mom was a little girl with hopes and dreams who probably didn’t think this was how her life was going to turn out either. I need to remember that sometimes my mom might just need to be reminded that she is appreciated and loved on a random Tuesday with some flowers. Because, let's face it...most amazing mother's like mine tend to put their needs behind a long list of others, their children being at the front of that list, and never cause fuss about it.
I didn’t know the little girl in the picture holding her baby doll or the young woman in the car with my dad heading out on their honeymoon, but I need to because they make me realize all the plans she probably had for her future in those times and of all the sacrifices she made once she became a mom so she could be the best mom we could ever ask for.
So, here’s to you Mom…and all the other wonderful mothers out there who sometimes just need to be remembered as the little girl inside of you.