Gathering the birthday bets...From the left, mom, me, and dad, February 24,1991.
Here we are, the evening before I am to have labor induced with the birth of my first child. My mom and dad, who lived out of town, had just arrived at our home in Memphis. You can't see it but my dad has a huge grin on his face, as he's just announced a contest.
"Everyone has to write on a slip of paper their guess for when Zachary will be born. Exact date and time. The person closest, over or under, wins."
I can't remember what the winner was to receive...maybe lunch or dinner? IDK. It didn't matter. It was one of the sweetest moments of my life. We as a family, celebrating the soon to be birth of their grandson. My anxieties were calmed with just their presence, and with my dad making it a celebratory event, to calm even his own nerves.
But...take a closer look at my sweet mom, on the left. She was feeling no joy, despite all efforts to put on a smiling face. When I first saw this picture, I was so confused, even irritated. It was a joyous time, yet she appears to be anything but joyful. Why was she not being a part of the lighthearted celebration?
It's a confusing thing to have conflict with a parent. My mom and I, like many mothers and daughters, had years of a tough reality between us. We misread words and actions, hurting each other in the process.
What I had failed to see, she was terrified for me. She loved me that much. I should have realized that could be her feelings, because she cried when I got my drivers license. 😂 She was trying to be in the moment, to celebrate. But her motherly heart just couldn't go there, not yet.
Fast forward to a day and a half later, at 1:00 a.m., when their grandson was born. I've never seen my parents happier. I didn't know my dad could smile that big. Amidst the celebration, mom cried tears of relief, of gratitude, and finally...of joy. All was right with the world.