A Mother’s Powerful Lessons, that shaped her daughter’s life.
I still remember the day I came home from school, I went in the house shouting, Mom, Mom, Mom! She came running down the stairs screaming what is it, what’s wrong? I said today Mr. Guerra, (my 7th grade teacher) told the class that we were going to have a Christmas Party next week and a Pollyanna. Mr. Guerra made everyone pick a name out of a hat and whoever name we picked we had to buy that person a $10 gift. My mother, smiled and said, what’s wrong with that. I said, Dennis picked my name and he doesn’t like me and I don’t like him either. He is not going to buy me a gift.
I am going to be the only one without a gift.
My mom says, that’s not true, maybe he will surprise you. I looked at my mother and said you don’t get it mom and then I went upstairs to my room to do my homework. All week I kept trying to get my mother to understand the severity of Dennis picking my name for the Pollyanna. The day came for my class Christmas Party and Pollyanna, I woke up that morning determined that I was not going to go to school and be embarrassed by the fact, that I would be the only person in class without a gift. I tried to fake sick, my mom wasn’t having it. She said, you’re going to school today, and that’s it, I said mom, you don’t understand everyone is going to tease me, or laugh at me because I didn’t get a gift.
She didn’t care she made me go to school anyway.
As I am walking to school, I was contemplating cutting school, I was thinking yes, that’s what I will do, instead of going to school, I will hang out on the boardwalk until school is out and then I will go home like everything was good. No sooner than I made the decision to cut school so I didn’t have to face the embarrassment of being the only one in class with no gift, I heard a voice say, are you crazy, do you know what your momma is going to do when she finds out that you cut school. Let me tell you, after I thought about it again, the fear that came over me, gave me the courage to go to school.
My thought was, I rather deal with the embarrassment, than to deal with the wrath of my mother.
As I get to class, I see all my classmates excited about the party and the Pollyanna. I walked in the class, put my book bag down and begin to socialize with my classmates with a smile on my face even though on the inside felt like butterflies in my stomach. Mr. Guerra comes in the class and he had this huge gift in his hand that he sat down next to his desk. Immediately everyone was curious as to whom the gift was that Mr. Guerra brought into the classroom.
What if my mom was right and Dennis did get me a gift, but didn’t want anyone to know it was from him.
As my friends and I kept pondering about the gift next to, Mr. Guerra’s desk. Mr. Guerra said, it’s time to exchange gifts and afterwards the party will begin. Everyone went back to their desk and sat down to wait for our name to be called so that we could give our gift to the person who we picked. Immediately, I felt scared and nervous because I knew Dennis did not buy me anything. Mr. Guerra was calling the names off by alphabetical order and of course with my first and last name beginning with an “S” I was at the bottom of the list. Finally, my name was called, I stood up and gave my person their gift, said Merry Christmas, and then I sat down. Next, Dennis name was called and just like I thought he did not bring me a gift. Everyone, noticed and began to make a big deal out of me not getting a gift… I asked Mr. Guerra, who gift was next to his desk, he smiled and said now that everyone opened their gifts, let’s find out who the gift belong to. Mr. Guerra looks at the name tag, then he looked at all of us and said, Schantta, this gift belongs to you. I was shocked and curious, as I walked excitedly to retrieve the mysterious gift. My classmates were just as excited and urged me to open the gift, so I obliged. I began ripping the gift paper open and to my surprise it was a Double Dare game that I wanted for Christmas. My classmates were just as happy as I was to get a Double Dare game. I noticed a card taped to the game, so I opened the card and it said, Merry Christmas, did you think I would let you be the only one in class without a gift, Love Mommy.
I begin to cry, not because I was sad, but because my mom did understand and like always, she had my back. I was so happy, I played Double Dare with my classmates and I even let Dennis play. I couldn’t wait to run home to tell my mother, how much I loved her and ask why she tricked me like that, when I got home, I told my mom how she was the best mom in the world, then I asked her why… She said, you needed to learn, that things are not always as bad as they seem and even if they are, you keep your head up and do what you have to do. Since then, I’ve always prepared for the worst and hoped for the best.
The lessons did not stop there, One year I was participating in the Atlantic City Pageant as one of the contestants… Anyone who has ever participated in a pageant knows that pageants are not free, they cost money (you have to purchase ball gowns, costumes and accessories, not to mention the cost of hair, makeup and nails). My mom did not help me at all, not with one dime. I had to figure it out on my own. Now if you knew my mother, then you would know she was always at every function, shows or school event that me and my sisters participated in, so you can understand how much it hurt that my mother was not supporting me. I figured, she would come around and at least come to watch me in the pageant, nope, she did not come, but all my sisters, cousins and aunts came, (however, I didn’t know she never showed up until after the pageant). I was so hurt, I started to cry and my family try to console me, but it didn’t work, on a night I was supposed to be happy I was not. I had it in my head, I was going to go home and tell my mother how she hurt me and how disappointed I was in her. I got home that night and all the lights were out, and when I went upstairs to my mom’s room I noticed she was sleeping, so I thought I would talk to her in the morning, in the meantime, I wanted a snack so I went to the kitchen and on the kitchen table was a bouquet of roses with a card, that says, I know you may be upset with me, but you needed to learn that when you start something, you have to finish it, even when no one will help you and that you did, I am very proud of the woman you are becoming.
That’s my momma, growing up there was always a lesson to be learned and I am glad for those lessons. My mother shaped me into a woman, who is strong, confident, fierce, determined, persistent, proud, capable, hardworking, and more. Thank you mommy for your lessons, because of you, I know I am capable of greatness and that in reality, I am the only person that I can depend on and even if anyone offered me help, to appreciate it, because they don’t have to help, but I know, I can make things happen even if no one helps me.