I was pushing Seabass in his stroller on one of those crisp, sunny December mornings that Central California does so well when I suddenly felt a little hand on mine. It was Seabass, reaching as far out of his seat as possible just to touch me. I had been in a reverie, tripping on neon red maple tree leaves and the warmth of our neighbors’ smiles. But the little pink hand got my attention.
I reached over and gave him my own hand, which he grasped and pulled to his face in a most gentle, loving motion. He just wanted to enjoy my presence, and I would have walked halfway to China stooped over with my hand on his face if he’d asked.
The truth is, he did ask. I nearly broke my back walking home with him clinging to me like that, and I’d do it again and again.
As I caressed his pudgy little angel face, the thought came to me that I love Seabass so much that I believe in him. This seemed a little odd because my little guppie is only 19 months old – how much is there really to believe in at that age? Do I believe in his ability to eat with a spoon like a big boy? His ability to resist touching the space heater? His eventual ability to potty in the toilet? You get my point: It’s not like we’re talking graduation from Harvard or running a marathon here.
But it got me thinking about my own small achievements and the role my mom played in them. Just musing on this, I felt an intoxicating gratitude for her sacrifices to be available to me throughout childhood and beyond. What might have happened to me without my mother’s love and belief in me? I shudder to think.
Everyone in this world needs a cheerleader – someone to shout encouragement from the sidewalk and pass little cups of Gatorade as we trudge along in the race of life. I’m humbled to be cheered on by my own mom and even more so to cheer my precious little one on, too. Thank you, Mom, and thank you, Seabass.