I have certain moments that happen once or twice a week. They usually occur when I am observing Olivia experience peace, or satisfaction, or pure unadulterated joy.
At these moments I think of my mom. Olivia is able to have these moments because of my mom.
Almost up until the day my mom moved out of her childhood home and went to college at BYU, she was neglected and severely physically and sexually abused. Her father was a raging alcoholic.
40% of adults who were abused as children, carry on the cycle and become abusive themselves.
My mom chose to break the cycle. I grew up with the most loving, caring, affectionate mother in the world. She always said she never wanted her kids to ever feel the fear or powerlessness that she did. We never did. I always felt safest and happiest when I was at home.
And just this summer my mom graduated as her class's valedictorian, with her Master's degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. She now helps people who went through the same things she did. She's amazing. Obvi.
So sometimes when I watch Olivia dancing around on the back porch enjoying an ice cream cone, or happily taking a sink bath, or snuggling in bed with both of her parents, I think my mom never got to do these things; but because of her, I did. I grew up in a happy home. And so can my baby.