A large portion of today was devoted to giving feedback to my son Ben about his college entrance essays. Tomorrow is the deadline for the 2018 application for BYU and he is hoping to be admitted. As I have read over his essays, I’ve been reflecting on the power of passion and how it drives a soul to succeed, achieve, serve, become and accomplish great things. Ben’s passion is chemistry. Here’s his beautiful essay on the depth of his passion (I convinced him to let me share it because I loved it so much).
My childhood was filled with wonder. Fire, in particular, was always a subject of interest for me. Initially, lighters and matches stole my attention for hours on end, much to the annoyance of my parents. Their focus on my well-being bothered me, although I now recall my former disregard for safety with a similar scorn.
When small fires lost my respect, being replaced with makeshift flamethrowers and small primary explosives, I was met with even more parental pushback. I was banned from playing with fire, but the fire in my mind could never be quenched. As a child, my head was filled with questions like those asked by 18th century philosophers. I would spend hours a day researching what I could about these questions and chemistry’s underlying dangers, and this research sparked something inside of me—a flame if you will—which I carry to this day.
When I was twelve, I worked a summer job to pay for lab equipment and chemicals, then experimented on the weekends. I quickly consumed the pitiful selection of textbooks the libraries had to offer, and found myself spending hours on YouTube watching chemical syntheses and recreating them myself.
When I was thirteen, recognizing my passion for chemistry, I was invited to tour a cancer research lab on BYU campus. I was ecstatic. Meeting with the professor, I opened the door and stepped into the first authentic chemistry lab I’d ever seen. Nearing the end of our tour, I asked about internship opportunities and was met with an enthusiastic and positive reply.
The lab granted me access to techniques, glassware, and chemicals, along with the opportunity of sitting in on the graduate students’ classes. Additionally, the experience and materials I gained access to enabled me to increase the complexity and efficiency of my projects at home. And still, every time I begin a new reaction, I remember the amazement the first time I saw it, and I’m amazed once more. – Ben Larson 2018 BYU Essay
Here are a few photos of Ben at the BYU chem lab where his passion for chemistry is currently being fueled.
I can relate so well to his amazement and that he continues to be amazed each time with each new reaction. This is what motherhood is for me. It’s my passion!!! I absolutely LOVE being a mother and have this same sense of awe and wonder at the experiment of daily living with many children going through stages and phases of growth and discovery. I got to do lunch with Joshie today (he cashed in one of his “gift of time” birthday coupons to eat lunch out with Mom) and that was pure heaven to have one on one time with an awesome 8 year old.
Louis started coming to the piano conservatory this week, and his excitement is so thrilling and fun to watch as he bounces around from room to room trying to be just like his big brothers who are there showing him the ropes. And then there is the nightly pile of bonding humans all gathered in our big cozy bed, each waiting to be tucked in. I absolutely adore these simple moments of motherhood and a million others.
Sure, I have rough patches and frustrated moments and times when I want to get away and have a break… but that is part of the journey and the challenge that stretches me to be more and become greater. I try to focus on the pure pleasure of the happy moments of motherhood—those are the moments that fuel my passion for being a mother.
I think we can have multiple passions as mothers and that we are not limited to just one. Ben has more passions than chemistry, though that is his peak passion for sure. I have more passions than motherhood, though likewise, that is my peak passion. I also love gardening, reading and writing!
One of the 10 Momni values is PASSION.
Energizing mothers to dream and create
We believe in the passionate dreams of mothers everywhere to create, achieve, grow and experience life to its fullest. We share enthusiasm for living and dreaming. We desire to energize all efforts.
Tomorrow is the monthly mom club meeting that I host on the first Thursday of each month. I’m so grateful for this regular gathering of mothers who help to “energize my efforts” as a mother. We study together how to become better mothers and share ideas and resources. This is what I hope for on a larger scale with Momni, that many mothers will come together in Momni Circles all over the globe to “help each other to create, achieve, grow and experience life to its fullest”!
Passion is one of the key components of GRIT. Passion helps us to keep our eye on the prize and to know our WHY behind all that we are doing, hopefully for the right reasons.
What is your passion? What is your WHY behind the GRIT you put into pursuing your passion? Or has your passion been paused and needs rediscovery?
Tomorrow I get to begin spreading the news of the Momni beta launch (we just got approved for our insurance coverage today, and background checks are now fully operational, so we’re ready to go!) and it excites me a great deal what Momni might achieve in helping mothers to discover and pursue their passions. So mama friends… watch for details on the Momni beta launch and think about sharing Momni with mama friends you know who may need a break, a bit of help or an hour or two here and there to re-energize and to create a space for pursuing their passion(s).