To the Mother Who Guarded My Heart When I Feared

Being my mom couldn’t have been easy. Most parents deal with the parts of childhood where there’s a monster under the bed, or someone’s afraid of the dark. But what do you do when your six-year-old comes to you and tells you she’s afraid the electrical wires in the walls are going to burn the house down, or that she has to chew each bite of food 100 times because she’ll choke if she doesn’t? What do you do when she begins to blink and clear her throat furiously, and then begins to scrunch her face up just “…because I just have to.”? When your daughter has worsening tics, but would rather die of embarrassment than admit that they exist?

According to my mom, you worry, read, and pray…a lot. I know I wasn’t the easiest child to raise. I had enough anxiety for five children, but I never wanted to admit that I struggled. But my mom never gave up. She read everything she could get her hands on about Tourettes, OCD, and anxiety in children (which wasn’t that much even fifteen years ago). She talked with me, and she prayed for me. And for all that, I will be forever grateful.

So while this doesn’t even begin to cover everything I owe my mother, it’s just one way I could express my thanks to her for being my mom.

A Thanks to My Mom

Dear Mom,

I want to thank you.

I want to thank you for all the reading you did when my tics showed up, when my fears became overwhelming.

I want to thank you for trying to learn all you could when there wasn’t much to know about Tourettes or OCD in children.

I want to thank you for not letting me chew my food 100 times, even when I cried.

I want to thank you for guarding my eyes when you knew the news would be too much for me to handle.

I want to thank you for introducing me to dance, for giving me a way to release my anxiety and find a new kind of freedom.

I want to thank you for protecting me from others who might have made fun of my tics, for not telling me, “Just stop,” because you knew I couldn’t.

I want to thank you for supporting me, but allowing me to come to terms with my disorders in my own time.

I want to thank you for believing in me, for telling me I was beautiful even when I felt out of sync.

I want to thank you for always seeing me as a whole, for not confusing my disorders with my abilities, but loving me just as I am.

I want to thank you for praying for me, then and now.

I want to thank you for still being there whenever I need advice

Whenever I need to rant.

Whenever my tics are up.

Whenever I’m anxious.

Whenever I just need to talk.

I want to thank you for being my mom.

Love you, Mom!

Mom and Me Collage

“I’ll love you forever,
I’ll like you for always,
As long as I’m living
my Mommy you’ll be.”

I’ll Love You Forever by Robert Munsch

*Photo Note: The wedding picture in my collage was taken by the very talented Roaming Reflections Photography.

If you have any mommy (or kiddo) stories to share about how a mother or child changed your life during hardship, please share in our Comment Box. Also, don’t forget to sign up for our weekly newsletter, where you can get extra information on neurological disorders, healthy living, education, and spiritual encouragement. As always, thanks for reading!

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