“Hey Mama!” I yell from my chair knowing that, that was the stupidest thing you can do to a hard working mom.
“What Honey? I am busy at the moment.” An exhausted voice exits the hallway to my left. “If you come to me I can help you.”
“Nevermind!” I yell back, because I can hear the strain in her voice. She must be really busy with her task that I don’t want to burden her any more.
Looking back down at my page of homework I ponder how I am going to complete this assignment. Our teacher wants us to explore our names. She wants us to discover why we are the way we are. But why did it have to be six pages long…that just seems ridiculous. You know how when you stare at a pot waiting for it to boil; I feel like that as I stare at this paper. Maybe magically it will be finished.
“Okay Honey, what’s the problem,” mom sits right down next to me. Her eyes are tired and her body hunches over itself, collapsing but still sitting tall. “You’ve been staring at this paper for 15 minutes with a very ugly face.”
I jokingly glare at her.
“I am sorry, but it is true,” she says with a small smirk across her mouth. “I needed a break from the laundry. Maybe your assignment is more interesting.”
“We have to write about ‘Why we are the way we are’.”
“Hmmm…. well you are tall because of your father. You have brown hair because of me. You have hazel eyes because of your grandfather. You have graceful hands because of your grandmother. And you are loud and annoying because of your siblings. Does this help?” Her smile growing with every statement.
“Mom…” jokingly I throw my pencil at her, but she avoids it and is clashes onto the floor. I am not loud or annoying…not really… “But yes, things like that help. But I think another part is towards my qualities.”
“Hmm…well one is… you are extremely competitive. I believe this is because this family likes to be the best of the best. However, for you I think, you truly believe you must earn everything you want in life. You don’t let people win, because they must want it for themselves. You don’t give up too easily, you try until you can’t physically move. I think you might get this from my side of the family. All of my brothers were extremely competitive and still are to this day.” Her eyes mist as her mind wanders back into her childhood…or somewhere which I was never a part of.
“This is great stuff mom. I do see myself as you describe me, but I always saw my competitive side as a weakness…in a way. People don’t like to lose. They tend to not like getting beat or pushed to their limits. To me I am too competitive sometimes…” I do feel this way a lot. Sometimes friends leave me because I want to do something to the fullest and they just want to breeze through it.
“It is a strength Honey. And don’t you ever forget it or change for someone. People who understand you know you have them ahead of yourself. You want them to succeed and accomplish it alone so they can be more confident within themselves. You do what you do because you care.”
Tears are coming…but I can’t cry now. I kiss her on the cheek and then ask the next question. “A big thing is our names. Some people believe that our history behind our names will give a reason to why we are the way we are. Why did you give me my name?”
“Hmmm…. well Jane was for a past relative. Also I have grown to love the name Jane. It flows off your tongue as people call you. You should add in your paper the meanings of your names. Jane means: God is Gracious. Which is true to me, because I have you. Your last name is, of course your father’s name. It means: Peace Ruler.”
“And my other name?”
“Well Emily means: To strive, to excel, or rival. Which fits you perfectly.” She embraces me into a loving hug.
“Thank you, Mama. But why did you choose Emily?” squeezing her right back.
“Actually…I chose Emily because I liked the name. It has no family ties or relations to our ancestors. I guess God knew that the child inside me was an Emily, and he might have guided me to give you this name. You are forever my darling Emily.”
One last squeeze, and then the words flowed from my mind, to the pen, to the paper. A watched paper will not complete itself. Sometimes words from another can help you succeed, but from the beginning you must want it too.