Letter from my Mom to her bratty 17 year old daughter

We have been getting ready to put our house on the market for a few weeks now and in the process, have cleaned out a ton of stuff from the basement. An unfinished basement is where all the crap and plenty of memories are stored. And in our case, laundry is done down there too.

For years both my mom and Glenn’s mom have tried to send us home with random things saved from when we were kids that they they no longer wanted to store, that we didn’t want to store either, but nobody wanted to throw out. Things like old teddy bears, legos (that Marshall now plays with), lot’s of pictures, art work from when we were kids and you know that sort of thing- we all have that stuff stored somewhere.

While I was trying to decide what to throw out and what to keep the other day (every 5 years you need to re-asesss right?) I found a note from my mom to me when I was 17- which was 12 years ago.

Our mom was always our biggest supporter, but she was never an enabler or one of those moms who thought their kid was always right or their kid was perfect. She didn’t “worship” her kids. She was never one of those moms that got in on the gossip or involved in any unnecessary hoopla. She just did her thing, we did ours and she supported us.

When I read this note I teared up and was reminded of how lucky I’ve been to have this kind of support my whole life. While my mom is not perfect and neither am I, I sincerely hope I will instill these kinds of words in the lives of my kids as they grow up. And if you are wondering, YES, this note is about running, in a way…. apparently I was upset about an incident that happened with my cross country coach. I will be the first to admit I was pretty bratty in high school. 

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In case you can’t read the note, it says this:

Lindsey,

I am sorry that you are having a bad day. I’m not sure if I understand what started it. You tell me that coach was mad because you were late, but I don’t see how that could be the reason for the whole day being bad. It is important that you show respect for coach whether or not you agree with her. She is not doing this job because it pays well- rather because she loves the sport and cares about you kids.

An apology for being late would help to make both of you feel better, although I doubt if she has spent as much time worrying about it as you have.

As far as you not running on varsity, or running at all right now. It is very important that you support the team as a while as well as individually. When you run 2 weeks from now, you will be knocking one of those girls off variety. You do have the ability, mentally and you need to prepare physically.

I will do what ever neccessary to help you do your best- buy new shoes, go to practice with you, buy special food, whatever. I will not, however cater to a poor me attitude. You are a smart and talented young lady (17!) and I am proud of you, not for your abilities but for the person you are. Do your best in everything and you will succeed.

Love,

Mom

Let me just add, my mom is the furthest thing from sappy or being super emotional. She doesn’t get sad much (that she shows us as least), she doesn’t really say “I love you”, she is tough and very independent. I mentioned in my post a while back about the BRCA gene, that when she has a situation on her hands, she educates and tackles. No pity parties, do what you gotta do.

My sister, Ericka wrote a special post for our my mom a few years ago on Mother’s Day (read here), she speaks much more eloquently than I have energy for right now but beyond the simple note I found in my basement, I’m thankful for the strength, determination and the giving mentality our mom has instilled in us.

I wasn’t intentionally trying to make this a love fest to my mom, but when I found the letter, I had to share!

This is where I was going to add a picture of bratty me from HS but, I packed them all away. I’ll find some good ones once we have to move all the crap again. 

Instead, I’ll leave you with a picture of my mom, Marshall and I at the start of Glenn’s Ironman in September 2012. She was injured and hobbled around ALL day. If you’ve ever been the cheerleader at an Ironman, it’s a LOT of work haha. When we told her he signed up for an Ironman, it was no question she would be there supporting him (and me with my 10 wk old) and that was really special to me.

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What is the best quality your mom instilled in you?

Comments

  1. Love my momma! 🙂

    She taught me to be generous and help those in need — as well as push through problems and make decisions based on logic, not emotion. Still struggle with that one sometimes but at least I have it in my mind 🙂

  2. My mom has taught me to never give up. When she was 28 she lost her first son to leukemia at the age of 4. My mom and dad were so poor in 1963, and my dad needed to work, so she was riding the bus over to her sick son in the hospital when he died. She couldn’t be with him because she had a 3 year old, a 1 year old and she was pregnant again and needed to care for those children too. This all happened less than a week before President Kennedy was assassinated. When she was 39, her husband died in 2 months of fast-moving cancer. He went into the hospital the day after Thanksgiving and died on January 8. She had five kids under 14, no job, no driver’s license and no money. She went back to college, learned to drive, took the driver’s test 5 times before she passed and went back to work full-time after being a homemaker for many years. That was when I was 9. She eventually got remarried. She was married for 30 years. A few years ago, at the age of 75-ish she was on a ladder washing her windows when she fell and broke her leg in several places. She went through surgery and physical therapy to get her function back. Last May, her 2nd husband died quite suddenly. She was sad beyond sad and misses him so much. But just a few weeks ago mentioned to me that she would be open to finding another man to share the rest of her life with. She’s 78. She is my true hero.

    1. Lindsey Hein

      Belle- WOW your mom is my hero too now! Life just doesn’t seem fair when someone has to go through all that. It doesn’t even seem real. Cheers to her finding a new man at 78 to spend the next 20 years with!! 🙂

  3. Aww, I love this! With this new generation of parents, it seems that the trend is to bend over backwards for our kids and fight for them, but we still need to teach them responsibility and consequences and how to deal with disappointment. Sounds like your mom is one wise, amazing lady!

  4. Barbie

    The coolest thing is that it is all written down in an actual letter. In this age of texts and tweets and the like, things worth remembering are said that will likely never be seen or re-read again. Some things are worth having on paper, even if it becomes part of the crap that gets stored in the basement.

    And knowing your mom, she probably wouldn’t say that many words to your face, at least not in that way. It’s a really neat thing to be able to “read” her heart like that. I agree that she is an amazing mom, and I’ll add that she’s raised three amazing daughters.

    1. Lindsey Hein

      I know, it’s crazy how different things are… I’d like to think it would still be hand written today, but am assuming probably by email. Email is much easier than handwriting you can make it so perfect- didn’t like that sentence? Just delete and start over. And you know Lori didn’t waste time with three or four drafts of hand written. Mom definitely wouldn’t have said all that in person. Too much emotion haha.

  5. This is exactly how my mom was, and how I hope to be as a mom! You can be supportive without coddling! Of course, you have to be somewhat flexible for the personality of your child, but, overall, babying can do more damage than good!

    How fun that she sent this with you, and thanks for sharing. So cool!

    1. Lindsey Hein

      Me too Crystal! Thanks for reading!! Hope you are well!! 🙂 I need to hope over to you blog and catch up with you real quick!

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  8. It’s nice to see a mom like mine who “isn’t overly sappy”. I see other moms who live breath and die by their kids and I don’t get it! 😉 We all have special relationships! This letter is what I hope to be. REAL, understanding, yet not putting up with nonsense. This was a really great read, thank you for sharing!

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