I often deviate from the web design talks in my blog and, with so many cool things coming up, I thought today should be one of those days.
I’d like to share a memory of sorts with you guys.
In your life, can you identify a memory with a strange occurrence? Like driving down a certain stretch of road and remembering an old memory? Hearing a song and traveling back to a different time or place?
Well, to be honest, I have a ton of them. But one in particular strikes me as very strange. My love of Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches.
You see, my dad left us when I was young (around 5 maybe?) and, being the man that he is, rarely paid child support, didn’t really provide much effort toward making sure I had those things kids need like a real relationship, financial support for food and necessities, and those sorts of things. Fortunately I was blessed with a Super Mom.
She had her own business grooming dogs and, with a little babysitting and driving help from my grandparents, she played not just the mom and dad roles, but the role of superhero. My sister and I had desks at her shop where, every day, we would come and do our homework before I glued myself to the TV to watch Fox Kids and rot my brain or grab one of the fluffy towels and curl up under my desk, occasionally with some of the sweeter puppies laying down with me.
My mom, aside from being a champion of parents, is also a very proud woman. She never wanted us to feel like we were underprivileged just because our father wasn’t part of the picture. She made sure we had what we needed for school, I had a tutor to help me through elementary school (partly for school work, partly because he was a fantastic guy that filled the “dad gap” amazingly), and that our needs were met and wants were satiated as much as possible. We had Disney World trips, beach trips with my grandparents every summer, school functions, everything a kid wanted. And me being the music lover I am, she made sure we went to as many music concerts as we could manage. I grew up going to see county music artists, Yanni, and many others because she made sure that I got that exposure. Who knows, she may even comment the story about my cowboy hat at the Clint Black concert. I don’t really remember it well other than I owned a cowboy hat for many years.
Looking back 20 years later, I can’t imagine how she did it. Food on the table, money for what many would call extravagant things, and all the while she never accepted a dime of welfare or government assistance. On top of that, because she never wanted us to feel like we lived in poverty, we never had some things that people would assume a single mom with 2 kids would have.
Today, while I was making my lunch, I couldn’t help but think about it. I’ve told some of my closest friends before, but I get more than a little excited when I eat Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches…because I never had them growing up. We had deli meat, pimento and cheese, grilled cheese with tomato soup or chicken noodle soup, really delicious food. But we never had peanut butter and jelly.
I don’t know if that was just mom not liking them, or if it was something else, but to this day I treat peanut butter and jelly like is the most savory steak or caviar on a cracker. All because of Super Mom and her powers of love, care, and a work ethic that I can only dream of emulating in my own life and work.
She’s the reason I had the courage to go into business for myself, the support that kept me going, the motivator that told me to stay the course and, one day, I’ll be able to stand on my own 2 feet and have the life I’ve always wanted. A life filled with love, care, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.