Each year, seniors at Shattuck-St. Mary’s School deliver a speech to their peers on a topic of their choosing in the Newhall Auditorium. Often equal parts clever and moving, emotional and personal, each speech offers a glimpse into the lives, experiences, struggles, and triumphs of SSM seniors.
Throughout the 2017-18 school year, we will share these speeches with the SSM community and hope that you enjoy the humor, wisdom, and powerful reflections conveyed by our senior students.
“I’m not trying to take anything away from the bond between a father and son, but there has always been something about a mother’s instinctive love that has been important to me. They carry us around in their stomachs for nine months, which can be an “emotional crap show,” as my mother would say. They go through the pain of childbirth, nurture, teach, and love us with all of their hearts, even if we are complete jerks to them, and then one day they let us go. They watch as we go off to pursue whatever it may be and support us through every minute of it. That sounds pretty tough to me.
“My mom began this process for the first time when she had me at the young age of twenty. She is the only person that has been there for me every minute since the doctor placed me in her arms. Since that day, she has loved me unconditionally and been the best influence a son could ask for; even after all of the crap I have put her through. Although she’s failed to teach me how to absolutely kill it on the dance floor the way she does, she succeeded in teaching me something slightly more important. She taught me how to open my eyes and ears before my mouth.
“My mother has seen me at my best and at my worst. There have been many times when I have felt alone, helpless, and depressed. I usually never said anything about it because I didn’t think that anyone would understand. I’ve always been a rather quiet guy, and this often makes me look like I want to be left alone. So there really wasn’t a difference in the way I was behaving. Being someone that doesn’t talk much has never bothered me; in fact, I kind of like it, because it has helped me become an independent person; but when it came to my problems it was unhealthy. I was treating my body like a balloon; filling it with emotions until it couldn’t be filled anymore.
“My mom was the first to notice my reluctance to tell anyone about how I felt, because she later explained to me that she has felt the exact same way on a much bigger scale. She was put through some incredibly tough things as a young adult that left her feeling like she had nowhere to go. At the time, I was barely old enough to wipe the drool off of my own face, but the decisions that she made under a tremendous amount of pressure helped to make me a better person and ultimately who I am today. I cannot imagine what I would be like if she had done the opposite.
“My mom described some of the times when she was feeling the way I was and many of them were for the exact same reasons. She showed me that it was normal to feel the way that I felt. After listening to her I realized that I didn’t have to deal with everything on my own.
“I couldn’t thank her more for giving me a loving stepfather and three younger brothers that all mean the world to me. Mom, even after four crazy kids you are still the most beautiful woman I know. I love you.”