This I Believe

Caryn - Baltimore, Maryland
Entered on May 2, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50

I believe in the healing power of motherhood. Until I became a mom, 18 years ago, I don’t think I really enjoyed my life. I grew up largely ignored, as the middle child in the family. We re-located so many times, I attended 11 different schools. I spent my 20’s suffering what I now know was low self esteem. I was so dysfunctional, I became a single, pregnant woman. But when my daughter was born, my whole world changed instantly for the better.

My daughter stretched my boundaries and introduced me to wonders I never thought I’d ever encounter. An animal lover, she has been riding horses for more than 6 years now, and I’ve learned to accept the large, passionate creatures who used to terrify me. My daughter and I have snorkeled in the Caribbean, crossed Vancouver’s Capilano suspension bridge, and adopted a beagle mixed breed, who has been our loyal friend for 12 years. Because of my daughter, I actually bought a house, took trips to Disney World and introduced her to all her cousins in Virginia, New Jersey, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine and Prince Edward Island. She was the only member of the entire family who knew every one of them at a recent family wedding.

After 18 years, the joys and excitement of motherhood have continued to overshadow the stress and exhaustion. Once she started school and learned to read, she told me, “You spell Mom: L-O-V-E!” This month, my daughter will graduate from high school and attend university in the fall. Thanks to my daughter and her appreciation of not only me but life in general, a whole new chapter is opening up for me. I am looking forward to it.