Today at lunch we talked woulda-shoulda-coulda’s for a minute or 2. It didn’t last long. We aren’t the sort of girls to carry a lot of regret. 

In that conversation a friend mentioned that her husband had an interesting take on the old “…if I could go back I would…” But his take was that instead of going back and re-doing that moment you would do differently—-what if you could go back to the exact moments when you were happiest or proudest. 

He had 4. I don’t know what his 4 were  as our conversation veered off course and we moved on. But it stayed with me…this idea of my happiest moments. 

What were my proudest-happiest moments? It’s a big question. 

The first were easy-3 babies=3 moments of sheer and pure joy. Spending a bit more time on the question I realized that each baby has given me a moment. My dude when I literally saw and felt him give every ounce he had to achieve a goal. It wasn’t his winning that was THE MOMENT but the hug afterward. The way his eyes held mine from pool deck, up the stairs, down the line of proud grandparents until it was my turn. His body quivered as he whispered, “we did it momma.” I was proud because somewhere he had learned that resolve-that drive-that fighting spirit and I believed some of that lesson came from me. Proud moment. 

My daughters fighting spirit in the face of broken-hearted disappointment is the moment I will forever cherish with her. Crying in softball isn’t that story but it’s one I hold dear for a different reason. 

The happiest moment of my life with my littlest one is that moment-at 12 weeks after NICU visits and year after scary test-that she opened her eyes and I saw life. 

The warrior dash is easily on the list. That moment trudging through 5 feet of mud-seeing the finish line and knowning that I had pushed myself beyond my own boundaries was a moment I will forever be proud of. I completed every obstacle. I helped a friend overcome her fear of heights. I didn’t quit. I fought and I did it. 

  

I have a secret. In 1988 I was crowned Miss Meadowcreek. I’ve never really admitted to anyone how proud I was of that. I got made fun of at school after I won so it tarnished it for a while. But now, years later, after the hurt of the ridicule has worn off–now I can admit it. Winning  did mean something to me  I wrote the poem I performed for the talent-that alone was a moment. I was named miss congeniality–an even bigger moment. I was never pretty. I wasn’t popular. I was mouthy and bratty but not confident. That night, like the warrior dash, I said no to all my fears and insecurities and I gave it everything I had. And on that night all I had was wnough. I am proud of that night. 

  

 

GROWING UP A HAYES is something else I am proud of. My past makes me proud. Writing something that meant something to people-that makes me happy. 

This exercise wasn’t how my sweet friend described her husbands conversation but it was a nice way to spend an evening. 

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