I recently watched the movie, Hope Floats. I’d never seen it before, but an old friend had told me it was one of his favorites, so I decided to watch it. Towards the end of the movie the main character, Birdee Pruitt, tells her daughter, Bernice, “You know, I always thought I was gonna be, I don’t know, special. But I’m not. I’m just . . . I’m just an ordinary person. And that’s okay. Because . . . you make me special. Don’t you know that? Don’t you know that you’re everything in this world to me? And we’re gonna make it through this because we are a team. Birdee and Bernice, the coolest chicks in Smithville. So don’t you ever think about leaving me again . . . because I need you. I love you.”
This quote really hit home. I used to think the same thing—that I was going to be special or that I already was special. I don’t know why. I guess because my grandma told my mom that the first time she held me after I was born. “I can feel there’s something special about this one.” My mom would tell me the story like she believed it, like she knew it was true. Maybe I thought I was special because my dad used to tell me I could do anything I wanted to do, be anything I wanted to be. I never believed him, but he seemed to believe it. I thought I was special or would become special because of what I’d been through with my mental illness, that I could one day make a difference in kid’s lives. I thought being a writer made me special. Then this guy I started dating and totally fell for after my divorce always told me the reason he liked me was because I was special.
Well, my grandma probably said the same thing about all of her grandkids. I found out my mom manipulated and lied to me for years. My dad changed his tune recently. The last time I saw him he told me what a horrible, awful person I was. My “boyfriend” broke up with me without any discussion and then completely ghosted me. Writing doesn’t make me special. There are a lot of writers out there, some who even make it big unlike pitiful me who’s never quite good enough. And I’ve never become that inspirational speaker I thought I might be for other youths struggling with the same challenges I faced as a teenager – am still facing today.
I no longer believe I’m special. I’m pretty ordinary. Really, I’m not sure I’m even ordinary. I’m less than ordinary. Except what Birdee said is true. I look at my daughter and son and know that they are what make me special.
When my son was born, several people told me he was blessed to have me as his mother, but I saw the truth. I was the one who was blessed to have had him come into my life. My children are the blessings. They are what make me special in that one, single way. And I suppose that one, single way is good enough because it means they are mine. And I need them, and I love them.