Five years ago today I walked across the Brooklyn Bridge with my mom. While that in and of itself is pretty cool, when the image of our walk popped up on my timehop it conjured up many more feelings than just a good memory.
We bought my mom a girls’ trip to New York for her birthday in March. As the year passed by we struggled to find a weekend we could all take the trip. In August of that year we found out my dad was sick, and while I was hanging out with him one afternoon he nonchalantly said to me, “You are never going to take your mom on that trip, are you?” I took it as a challenge. When he passed just three weeks after his first signs of illness I called my sisters and told them, “I am going on the trip to New York with mom; are you coming along?”
January was the best opportunity we found, so, against our better judgement, we booked our trip. I had been to New York several times before but never had the opportunity to walk the Brooklyn Bridge. Our first morning in the city we woke up and took a cab over to a coffee shop in Brooklyn. We got warm drinks and began our lovely walk. Within minutes it began to rain. Mere moments later it was sleeting. As we came across the edge of the bridge into Manhattan it began to snow heavily. We ducked into a coffee shop and with mascara streaked faces began to peel off the layers of wet clothing. We were cold and wet and looking like drowned rats. My mom was just as cold and wet and as she peeled off her coat and scarf she looked at us and with a big smile exclaimed, “How many people can say they walked the Brooklyn Bridge in rain, sleet and snow!”
That is the best explanation of the spirit of my beautiful mom. She passed away a couple years after this trip, but her rendition of the Brooklyn Bridge experience remained just that; an opportunity and an adventure that only few can say they’ve experienced. My mom was special for a lot of reasons. She was the mom I want to be in so many ways, but her best characteristic may have possibly been her ability to see the good in all people and all things.
As mothers we are given a beautiful opportunity every single day. We have the opportunity to shape and influence little people who think we hung the moon. We have the opportunity to show them the type of world we live in and the type of people we want to be in this world. Some days we go for a hike and it’s a little hot or we go to the Magic House and its just too crowded. Some days there’s another kid at the train table who isn’t sharing the best or there is an employee at a store who’s just a bit grumpy. Some days we encounter a world that challenges our intentions to be kind and see the good. I hope on those days I am able to rise above and be the good.
You see, I hope when I leave this world my kids are able to see me as I see my mom. I hope I raise kids who see me as a positive force in a world that can be so negative and cutting. I hope my kids see me as a mom and a friend they would like to emulate. Every day we, as moms, face countless choices. Some matter, some not so much. I would argue that our biggest choice may be to choose to see the good and to raise little ones who see the good too!