My mother was not a very active or "hands on" type mother. She
was always around and would watch from the sidelines as we ran
around, rode bikes or played in the waves at the beach. She was
born with pretty severe scoliosis. In the 60s (when she was in high
school) the standard treatment was a full body cast. Can you
imagine going through high school, some of the more emotionally
stressful times, in a plaster cast that went from your hips to your
neck? My mom couldn't bear it and convinced my grandmother to forgo
By the time we were in grade school and active, my mother's
spine was in the form of an S and she had a hunched back. As a
child I am sure I had no idea how uncomfortable she was at any
given time or whether she wanted to be involved instead of on the
sidelines. I just accepted, my mom is a not a doing mom.
I've always been active. I was in multiple sports through
college and have hiked, biked and run since becoming an adult. I
was reflecting back on my childhood and my mother as I was on a
training run last week. I took my oldest son and we had some
one-on-one time while I ran and he rode his bike around a local
nature preserve. It was great to get some time with him, he
cherished the attention and I got exercise. I'm sure I never saw my
mom run, ever.
The following weekend we were apple picking. It's become a
tradition to visit a small
family orchard in our area at least twice a season. My kids
love it and I love it. As we were walking through the trees, my son
complained about not being able to reach the big apples higher in
the tree. So I crouched down and let him get on my shoulders. My
husband said laughing, "you're going to be paying for that
tomorrow." I chuckled and we went on. I eventually had to do the
same with the other two children.
While I was sore the next day, it was totally worth it. My
mother didn't have a choice on whether or not she could still pick
me up when I was 8 (she couldn't) or if she could carry me on her
shoulders (she couldn't). I have been blessed with a body that may not
be perfect but is healthy and able. I will continue to do
whatever I can as long as I physically can simply because I CAN. I
have the ability and I am not going to squander it. I will lift and
carry my children for as long as time allows because I now
understand how special those small and seemingly simple movements
Melissa is mom to 4 kids and 2 angels. She chronicles the sticky bits of motherhood at Peanut Butter in my Hair.
See more of Melissa's stories here.
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