I've been known to be a hard-ass, no holds barred kind of person.
I don't take crap from anyone.
In grade school I was that girl who punched the boys if they called me or my friends a name.
I've always been loud and boisterous.
But I'm also really quiet.
I never liked raising my hand in school to answer a question the teacher posed.
I didn't know how to subtract or multiply or divide when everyone else did.
I was too afraid to ask for help.
I've always lived a bipolar life.
I often wonder if I do harbour some sort of mental illness.
When Chad and I decided to have children I thought, I think as every woman does, will I be a good mom?
Will I have the compassion and heart to give to another human being?
One who I must have patience for?
Who I must provide constant emotional care for?
Then Zoe was diagnosed with cancer.
My life's mission became to make sure she got better.
The hard-ass in me came out.
In full force.
I didn't feel sorry for myself.
I spoke for her and let her cry and held her hand as she slept.
I asked too many questions and researched all treatments and read about the horrific side effects.
I had to put that shy part of my personality aside.
The scared side.
I had to be stronger than the strongest I thought I could be.
On a scale of 1-10, I needed to be a 15.
I think sometimes my kids believe I'm too tough.
I make homework and piano practice a priority.
Time with the family comes before anything.
I don't condone disrespect at all.
With me and Chad or with each other.
They know to call their friends' parents Mr. and Mrs.
I make sure they don't get left behind in their school work.
They know how to subtract.
How to write their letters.
My point of this post is this...
My hard-ass personality and the life I lived up until September 7, 2010 enabled me to be the mother that my daughter needed to pull her through her disease.
I often try to tell myself that I need to calm down about something.
That I don't need to be so tough all of the time.
But, as Popeye said, I am what I am.
And I am the mom of a childhood cancer survivor.
And she and I are tough together.
Because I taught her to stand tall.
And now we can stand together.
This is part one in a series I'm doing simply titled "parenting...how I do it."