Losing my mother at 52 years old, I was only 25 with two small children and a runaway husband. I had received my honorable discharge from the United States Navy and my then husband stayed in to be the protector and provider of the family. Upon the birth of our second child, I did not see my husband until years later. Left with mounting bills, one small child and a newborn infant I knew I had to do something different fast.
Remembering my mother’s words I enrolled at the University. I began my journey out of poverty, desperation and willingness to learn a different lifestyle. Somehow I knew it would all work out.
My daughter was my first born and two years later, we had a son. I knew I was going to do things different, better. I worked full-time, went to school full time and had the Navy Reserves to keep a roof over our head. As my confidence grew and my skills, I applied and received a coveted position. I was on my way. Yet, I was never home. I became lost in being better, earning more, and becoming the daughter my mother said I should be.
Years later, I was available for my children. I married a gentleman who gave me the luxury to be a stay home mother and not to have to worry whether we would be homeless or separated. I had everything I ever wanted…So I thought.
One day my daughter came home with her report card. She had mostly A’s, a few B’s and then I saw it. The dreaded “C.” I was very upset and thought I had failed as a mother, a mentor, a role model plus had I, not drilled my children that they need to do their very best and to be extraordinary? This is what my mother told me. To my horror, my daughter began to cry. I thought I had finally reached her to do better, be better and not to accept mediocrity. Her next words changed my beliefs. She shared, What is wrong with a C. Isn’t a C average? What is so bad about being average?” I was flabbergasted. My next sentence was not my own. I remember saying, “There is nothing wrong with being average, but no child of mine would be just “Average.” We come from a family of extra-ordinary, except we were not really extraordinary. We were average, we were ordinary. And that made us extraordinary. That was the day that earning a “C” was all right with me.