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Don't Tell Your Mother

(by Heidi Mender)

"Your story is powerful, beautiful, and can move mountains...and I love you more than life itself." My mother tells me this along with several clichés such as "You are the wind beneath my wings" and “I love you to the moon and back." When she isn't trying to smother me with words, she does so with food. But she was, and still is, a significant influence on how to be fierce. "Don't tell your mother" was a common phrase in my household.

My birth didn't give her much of a choice to be anything but fierce since I came out with two broken legs. I believe I have broken just about every bone in my body since. Genes depleted me of collagen in parts of my bone structure, which made life complicated for my parents. Protecting your child from the world is one thing, but protecting a child from herself, right from the get-go, is something else entirely.