My mother calls me brave, so I am brave.
She takes me to the bus stop on the first day of school and I am scared. She smiles and lets me go, so I smile and go. I am brave.
She sits me down and tells me we are moving. My father will be gone a while, and I will have to make new friends. She tells me not to be sad, so I stop crying. I am brave.
I want to dye my hair blue. I worry that she will be mad but she says she'll help me. I sit with dye in my hair and I ask if it looks okay. She tells me that everyone will be jealous, and I smile. I am brave.
She drives me to the middle school and I am terrified. She asks if I am excited and I say that I am scared. She grins and tells me I will love it, and I do. I am brave.
She and my dad tell me that we are moving again. My dad will live with his brother and she will live with her parents. My brother and I will spend time with both of them. She says it's not our fault and they will always love us. I cry, but I nod my head. I am brave.
I start a new school and I don't know anyone, but she tells me that I will make fast friends. When I do, I bring them home and she tells me how proud she is. I am brave.
She has a boyfriend. I don't want to know. She tells me she is happy and I tell her I'm glad. I worry she can see that I am not, but she is happy so I am happy. I am brave.
She takes us to her boyfriend's house and I stay in a guest room. She talks and laughs with him and I stay upstairs with his dog. He seems nice and she seems happy, but I miss my house. I tell her I had fun. I am brave.
I am in the corner of the room on New Years and her eyes are filled with tears of joy. My family cheers and he puts a ring on her hand. I hug her and say congratulations. I look at my brother and we are both still. I am sad for me but happy for her. I am brave.
She brings us to our new house. He talked the sellers into giving us the model home, complete with furnishings. The house is yellow and my room is big. They ask what I think and I miss my old house but I smile and say I love it. I am brave.
She marries him and they both cry as they say their vows. I cry too, and for the first time I really am happy for her. The families hug and dance and laugh and I tell her how beautiful she looks. She smiles at me and goes to dance. I am brave.
I get a car and a job, and she tells me she's proud of me. I am nervous to have more responsibility but she says I'll be great and I believe her. I am brave.
She and my dad try to help me decide where to go to college. My dad takes me on campus tours in Chicago and she tells me about different schools in state. She wants me to stay and I don't tell her I want to leave. We argue about applications and I don't want to disappoint her. She tells me to have more options. I make my decision. I am brave.
She doesn't talk to me for a few days and it's because of what I said. We talk and I cry because all I want is for her to understand. I know it's not her fault. I understand her way, but it is not mine and I tell her this. She looks sad and I apologize and hug her. I am sad too, but I tell her that this will make me happy. I am brave.
I drive to Chicago with my dad and she flies down the next day. She smiles and says how excited she is for me. It's a sad smile. She helps me move my things into my room and hugs me tight. We both cry, but she stops so I stop. I am brave.
She asks about my classes and I tell her how much I love college. I feel free and strong, but I miss her more than I thought I would. She tells me again that she is proud of me, and I tell her again that I love her. I am brave.
She listens as I tell her how much stress I feel. I talk about finals and projects and she tells me to be strong and make it through another week. There are tears in my eyes but I tell her I can't wait to be home. I am brave.
I get ready to leave her house to go back to college after Christmas and she doesn't cry. She smiles and wishes me luck on my classes. After she is gone he tells me that she cries every time I leave. I hug her and thank her before I go and I cry too. I am brave.
I am brave, because my mother made me brave.