I’m Not Who I Was

A little boy ran up to me as I pushed my son with special needs in his stroller and asked, “Are you Ryan’s mom?” “No,” I paused, “…I’m Isaac’s mom.” The words settled on me with more weight than I expected. “Isaac’s mom.” I could have replied with my own first name. Or a simple “No.” Instead, the reality of that obvious, yet profound statement stopped me in my tracks. Yes, I am Isaac’s mom now.

I used to be other things that I’m not anymore, now that I’m Isaac’s mom. And some days, when I look at pictures of me before I became this new person, I hardly recognize that other girl. She seems a lifetime away. She looks refreshed and full of life, cheerful and gregarious. Very familiar and yet somehow a stranger. I used to miss that girl in all her shiny, rested glory. And it has taken me years to realize, that though rested she may have been, that girl wasn’t half the woman that Isaac’s mom is. I am stronger and better now than I ever knew that I could be. Through having been tutored by a perfect little boy.

I used to care about me. Now I know that there are more important things to care about.

I used to live my life in days and years. Now I live in the beauty of each moment.

I used to be happy. Now I know joy.

I used to be smart. Now I am wise.

I used to have priorities. Now I know what is truly important.

I used to love. Now I know what unconditional love is.

I used to be busy. Now I know what time is really for.

I used to know things. Now I feel and understand things.

I used to have sympathy for others. Now I have empathy.

I used to accomplish big things. Now I know that the small things really are the big things.

I used to be strong. Now I know what true strength is.

I used to be fast. Now I know the value of slowing down.

I used to be thankful for things. Now I don’t take anything for granted.

I used to see the sights. Now I see miracles.

I used to have friends. Now I have a community.

I used to have me. Now I have a beautiful, little boy.

I’m definitely not who I used to be. No, thanks to a little boy, I am better than I could ever have been on my own.

And I wouldn’t trade that. Or him. for anything. ©

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