A Balanced Plate: An Ode to My Mother

Dear Mom:

During this era of revolutionaries such as Michelle Obama making healthy eating the rage, or Solange defining self care as a place not near the borderline, I can’t help but think that in my life, this narrative of the importance of a balanced life has always been present, and I owe it all to you.

Among all other things, you have stressed the importance for me to eat lots of vegetables and foods with fiber since the day I could even recognize what a vegetable even was. You wanted to make sure my brother and I always had foods that sustained us and promoted our growth. While those foods are important to consume on a routine basis, what I have now come to realize is that my growth has not been solely due to those nutrients alone. Rather, it has been your kindness, wisdom, and sacrifice that has nourished my soul and quenched my thirst for everlasting love in this physical world. The endless buffet line of love, encouragement, and discipline that you have mixed together and poured into me for years... and years…. and years has developed to fruition. Like the yeast that makes the bread rise, the never-changing place you, your story, and your testimony have within me is always the reason for which, I still rise. You keep me grounded, yet still push me to reach for the stars. You constantly remind me of how I deserve to be loved, yet also remind that real, wholesome love is always to be reciprocated…..

Reciprocated. A concept. As these words are placed on paper, I can’t help but also wonder: have I reciprocated enough of the same love in return? Not to say that you had an end game in mind in raising me, but mother, I think it is safe to say that children are an investment, and it is time that you receive some of your return. There comes a time where the child must begin to provide you a balanced plate, and that time for me to do so is now.

Adrianna Williams