The very very beginning

Deciding when to become a mother was hard for me. I'm sure that's not something most people would admit. I always knew I wanted to be a mom...eventually. I also wanted to be MORE than that.

But what does that even mean? I grew up watching my own mother work 40+ hours a week starting most days at 5am so she could be home for us by 3pm when school got out. She would come home, make dinner, clean the house, do laundry, bake amazing treats, and all the other "tasks" mothers have on their "should do" lists. I could see all the housework she did but her "other" work was intriguing to me. She worked as a meat department manager at a local grocery store. She prided herself on the fact that the store itself never smelled like fish. My mother on the other hand came home smelling like fish everyday. To the point where her shoes lived outside permanently.

For as long as I can remember she worked. I thought she was a big shot. A Department Manager to me as a kid was right up there with being the Mayor. My mom had a secret though that she very rarely shared with others. She did not graduate high school. Not because she was a trouble maker or that she didn't care to go. My mother struggled with seemingly easy every day tasks, like reading and writing. "I'm dyslexic" she told me when I was old enough to realize she was not reading the right words in my bedtime story.

As the years have gone on I have more fully understood what that meant. The way she saw letters and wrote down words was completely different than the way she meant to. She could see and say them in her mind, but when she went to write them down or say them out loud they came out all jumbled.

When I was 21 years old I served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Like all the missionaries I had no choice where I was to be sent. When I opened my call letter to see that I was being sent to The Germany, Munich, Austria Mission I was SO excited. At that time we were only allowed 2 phone calls home. Ever. Christmas and Mother's Day. The rest of the time were emails and "snail" mail. My father wrote me faithfully every week. He never missed. But it was hard for mom to write emails. Yet every couple of months I would get that desperately desired package of American treats that every missionary dreamed of in the mail, with a handwritten letter from my mom. I would usually read the letter out loud to my companion as we tore open the skittles or starbursts. Reading moms letters was almost as if I was trying to decode a secret message. Often times she misspelled words or kicked verbs or left out necessary words to make a full sentence. It wasn't until that time that I realized just how much of a struggle this had been for her.

A lot of people didn't and still don't have compassion for disabilities. They find them annoying and inconvenient. But I have never once thought anything less of mother because of her disability. I just know that she sees the world differently, and that's ok.