In first grade we were allowed to start checking out books at the Washington Elementary school library. This was our first right of passage. To be trusted with something as precious as a book, to be trusted to love that book, read it from cover to cover, take in all those words, and then return it to the library for others to embrace, this was magical, a lesson in love I will never forget. Because it was love, to be trusted like this with such an important gift.
I could feel it from the start. These were important decisions. I couldn’t just grab anything off the shelf. I needed make the right decision. It was just so important. My heart weighed heavy each Tuesday evening, because Wednesday was library day. Would I pick the right book? Would there be time to choose? My mother gave me the best advice. She told me to find a series that I really liked and then continue with that series each week. I could go to the section with confidence, no fear, and choose a book I loved.
My first series was Cowboy Sam. Cowboy Sam had so many adventures, and I lived and loved each one. Each week I went to the same section and checked out the next book. For twenty weeks or so, I was at ease. By the time I finished the series, I had gained so much confidence that I was able to move to another section. Try new books. Live out new adventures.
This is what my mother gave me. Right from the start. Confidence. Even in the most difficult of times, she was my strength, my assurance, my Cowboy Sam on the shelf. No fear that she would ever disappoint, or ever leave. She was only love.
With this confidence, I was able to go out into the world. Trust in people. Trust in love. There is no greater gift.
She is my mother. On this day of celebration, and every day. I count on it.
Happy Mother’s Day!