There were so many things I wanted to do as a mom: so many crafts, so many cute ways to serve food, so many scrapbooks to document Andrew’s life…so many things I’ve never done.

Andrew never liked to color. He rarely wanted to make a craft. Many times, I tried coming to the kitchen armed with good intentions and a notebook of articles clipped from the pages of Family Fun. Usually, we ended up in a fight. He didn’t want to make butterflies out of melted crayons, paint handprints to give as presents, or even save the birds by making peanut butter pinecone feeders.

He really didn’t care much for food either. I’ll never forget when Andrew was a toddler, and the Mother’s Day Out teacher advised me that two Nutri-Grain cereal bars were not a nutritious lunch. She suggested I think about providing healthier foods. Clearly, she had no idea how thankful I was when I found a food item Andrew would actually eat. God forbid that the cereal bar would break in half or not come out of the wrapper perfectly, but that’s another story.

So many times, I have looked back on what I dreamed my life as a mom would be, and so many times, I have been disappointed in myself. My mother was a stay-at-home mom, and she was pretty creative. She would cook animal-shaped pancakes for breakfast, rabbit-shaped cakes for Easter, and ghost cupcakes with glowing eyes at Halloween. I am just happy if I remember to serve a vegetable or a fruit with some of Andrew’s meals. If we go several days without chicken tenders, I’m pretty proud.

When Andrew looks back on his childhood, I hope he remembers that I did try. I made Hulk (green) pancakes with blood (red) syrup, erupting volcanoes with baking soda and vinegar, and ugly paper mache masks. Hopefully, that will be enough. When his friends start talking about their memories, he will be able to chime in with a few of his own.

If he runs out of things to say, he can look through the boxes of pictures, schoolwork, art, papers, cards, and other mementos that never made it into a scrapbook. I had hoped these many treasures might one day grace the pages of a book, but who am I kidding? I am not crafty. My scrapbooks wouldn’t have clever sayings or pictures cut into fun shapes. They wouldn’t be in order. I may not have my memories neatly pasted into books like other moms, but I do have memories, lots of them. And, so will Andrew.

My son has no idea what I dreamed I would do as a mom. He just knows what I did and what I continue to do today. And we both know that my days haven’t been in vain. My reality has taken a route different from the one prescribed in the pages of those cute, family magazines, and that’s okay.  Really. It’s okay. I’ve got the memories to prove it.




  1. Claudia on June 14, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    Wow! What a great life story experience HT. I can relay in your feelings. Family Magazines are so good to diminish mothers because they take for granted what a Mother suppose to be doing with her kids, from garden to all the way to the kitchen. I am not saying is not right; however, someone has to realize that working mothers are also important and there are some activities that just can fit your schefule or life style; and they should suggest othrr activities for busy momms for kids edges 0 months all the way to collage. I have had also those experiences; however, some are because they do not fit life schedule and expectations are unrealistic. I used to received working mothers magazine. I think fits the working mother that I am. So, HT do not feel bad just because you could not fix those “healthy bars” for your son. You do and have done other things for Andrew and as far as I know. You are an exemplary mother that takes her kid fishing and enjoys it as much as speak to empowers others.

  2. bill cordes on June 14, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    Great post! Keep them coming, cant wait to read the next one! And I think we can all relate. It really seems like we never do enough. I know I have had that thought many times when I see the parents with the videos, cameras capturing the lives of their kids and I am just happy I made it to the event!

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