People magazine recently came out with an “American Idol” “Where Are They Now?” yearbook.
They contacted me last fall and did a two-hour interview over the phone, wanting to know everything about my experience on Season 2.
And most importantly — what in the world was I up to now?
After giving what I felt like was a very impressive resume full of personal accomplishments, such as writing a book, releasing a CD, touring the country singing and speaking to youth groups, I threw in “Oh, and I’m a mother to two wonderful little boys.”
Last month the yearbook appeared on store shelves, and my husband picked up a copy.
I anxiously flipped through the pages until I saw my season and searched for my page.
I didn’t have one.
What I did have was a small corner at the bottom with one, yes, ONE paragraph under a picture of our little family. Under my name, it read:
“Married to banker Brad Herbert, son of Utah Governor Gary Herbert and a happy stay-at-home mom to Boston, 3, and Beckham, 1.”
That was it. That was IT.
No mention of a CD, no talk of tours, no impressive recap of my life over the past (almost) decade.
The only thing they felt worthy to mention was that I had become a homemaker. A wife. A mother.
I must admit, at first I was a bit surprised and perplexed as to why they didn’t mention any other accolades. And then a thought came to mind: None of those other things mean more to me than being a mother.
Not a single thing. Of everything I’ve done since age 17 — every experience I’ve had, national TV show I’ve appeared on or famous celebrities I’ve met or worked with — none of it holds a candle to the most amazing experience and opportunity of becoming a wife and mother.
Of all the things “People” chose to write about me, I am proud that was it. I found an old copy of my Salt Lake magazine cover story in a box the other week and reread the article titled “Idol Worship.”
Around nine years younger and fresh off of “Idol” Season 2, I gushed about wanting to be a famous country singer, actress and myriad other things. And then, in the very last paragraph, I said that someday I wanted to be as good of a mother as my own.
My mother has taught me so many things. She has always cheered for me to go for my dreams, to work hard, to make a difference.
But the most important thing she taught me was through her example as my mom.
I never doubted her decision to become a homemaker. In every way, she was made for that role. She made my life full of wonder and endless possibilities.
She made homemade banana bread on rainy days. She made an effort to be there right when I walked in the door from school, always with open arms and a question: “How was your day today?”
She would sit on my bed late at night and scratch my back while I talked about boys, school and my future. She drove me to every singing lesson, every dance class, every audition, and made me hot lemon-honey water and carrots with almond butter to eat in the car on the way.
She held my firstborn in her arms while I cried and said, “How? How did you do it?” And then she reassured me I was made for this role, too.
I am so grateful I am my mother’s daughter. Just having a piece of her in me gives me confidence I can be to my children what she is to me: the world.
To mothers everywhere who give us hope, love and courage to chase our dreams, and especially to my own this Mother’s Day:
Carmen Rasmusen Herbert is a former “American Idol” contestant who writes about entertainment and family for the Deseret News.