This post is the first of our runner up winners of our big “For the Love of Mom” writing contest. Over the next few weeks leading up to Mother’s Day, we will be sharing our winner’s posts. Please feel free to comment and share them – we can’t wait to see how they resonate with YOU! Thank you, Jessica, for this beautiful tribute!
As I get older and watch my son grow up, I have a much deeper understanding of what it means to be a Mom. I now understand much better and with greater appreciation how special & how hard it is to be a Mom. Because let’s face it, it’s not always easy! There are some pretty spectacular moments as well! My Mom was a single Mom and thus worked twice as hard to ensure I got everything I needed. We had a house of our own, food, clothes, and reliable transportation. Nothing fancy or extravagant, but more than many. We did not have a lot of extra money to travel but we still went on many adventures. It is those adventures, I have no doubt, that are a pivotal reason why I am now Colorado Mountain Momma!
My Mom has always had a deep love for the mountains and so I grew up going camping quite often. Just us two girls and a tent. Most of the time we went right outside Rocky Mountain National Park. I remember being sooo excited to go camping in the mountains as a younger girl. I loved riding my bike around the twisting roads of the camp ground, making mud pies with sticks & such for the chipmunks & birds, playing in the rivers & lakes. Guess I’ve never been one to be afraid of a little dirt and some bugs!
In my teenage years, like many, I became self absorbed, rebellious, had a terrible attitude and was largely unappreciative & unaware of how hard my Mom worked to provide for our family. As I got older I lost interest in camping and we stopped going as much. Fast forward through high school graduation, moving out for college, graduating college, getting a job and entering the real world. I became addicted to work, had no connection with the outdoors, was practicing poor self care etc… I met a boy and fell in love. I was busy living life on my terms, only responsible for me. I did not see my Mom a lot and we grew apart.
In 2012 I gave birth to my son, Jacob. Jacob was born 9 weeks early and has had a handful of other serious medical complications. My stress and anxiety levels were through roof for about 3 years solid. I’ve had to leave my baby boy in the hospital for a total of about 11 weeks. That sucks! There were two people who stood by my side at every appointment, every procedure. One my wonderful husband, and the other my Momma. She was my rock during these difficult times. She is a Mom after all. She understood my pain. I cried many of hours to her, just wanting to be home with my baby. She encouraged me, reminded me that I could never give up, never stop fighting for my baby. I’d do whatever it takes for Jacob, just like she did for me all those years! We became close once again.
By 2015 things had settled down a bit and Jacob was becoming a healthy, smart, energetic little boy. We were finally able to get out and enjoy life. He and I started to venture to Estes Park on the weekends to get away from our “normal” for a bit. This fueled a little flame of wonder in me. I would look up into Rocky Mountain National Park, wanting to explore what awaits deep in those tree covered forests as I once did as a child. One day, Jacob and I did just that, we went for a hike. My bubby was so happy, so amazed at all that was around him. As I stood and watched him take in this new world memories of my childhood replayed in my mind. All those wonderful camping trips with my Mom flashed before my eyes. I could see my little blonde haired, blue eyed, dirty self, enjoying nature just as my own son was in that very moment. That hike was exactly what I needed. It was a slap in the face, a true wake up call to get back outdoors. Deep inside I was desperate for something to help me process and cope with years of buried stressors and anxiety. I had found it. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I had quickly rediscovered what being in nature is all about, through the eyes of a toddler. I now know why my Mom was so fond of the mountains and why we spent so many days enjoying their splendor when I was a child. And I now spend as much time as possible in the mountains with my son. Getting out and playing in the dirt is my solace once again. There is little in this life that makes me happier than being in the mountains with my mom, and my son. I am ever grateful to her for instilling a love of nature and the mountains in me that is hard to describe in words. I am excited to be able to instill this same love in my son now that I am a Mom.
It is in the sprint of Mother’s day in a few weeks that I dedicate this entry to my amazing Mom, Diane. I love you Momma.
Colorado Mountain Momma, Jessy Shouse, is a Colorado native and avid outdoor lover. She is a wife, mother, photographer and blogger who loves to adventure & explore the beautiful mountains of Colorado; specifically Rocky Mountain National Park. She hopes to share her love of the outdoors and all its benefits with other women & moms and inspire them to get outside!
This post was published with permission from the author at Tales of a Mountain Mama in response to the For the Love of Mom writing contest.
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