Title: How I Met My Mother
Author: William
Rating: K+
Disclaimer: I do not own Lie to me*. Title inspired by the series "How I Met Your Mother", also not mine.
Summary: Write 1000 words about a woman who has had an influence on your life…
A/N: This is not the next William fic in the series – except in so far as it is the next one I am posting. There are at least two fics that, chronologically, come before this one. But they are not finished, and this one demanded my attention. It works without the missing fics and, in fact, will act as a nice little teaser for what happens in those stories. I would say you do need to have read the previous William fics for it to make sense though.

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Assignment: Write 1000 words about a woman who has had an influence on your life.

How I Met My Mother
By William Lightman

I have no memories of my birth parents. I know, because I have been told by my mom, that my birth mother died before I was one year old and my birth father continued to raise me alone. It turned out he was not equipped to do that, though, and I was taken into care when I was found home alone and starving. In the next room they found a stash of drugs, and my birth father later died in prison. I had no other family.

Gillian changed that.

My earliest memory of my mother is of a patient smile as I hid from her, first behind my foster mother's legs, and then, when Julianna inconsiderately sat down, behind the chair. I remember that Gillian continued to smile at me, despite the fact that I would not move out of hiding, and she continued to include me in the conversation, even though I did not offer any sort of response.

I remember that just before she left the room she told me she would come back the next day. I remember that she did. She kept coming back, and she kept smiling, until, eventually, I stopped hiding. She didn't make a big deal of it. She picked up a book I had left on the coffee table, and she asked me if I would like to read with her. The book was a space adventure about Buzz Lightyear, from Toy Story, and I can still recall the sound of her voice reading it to me. I had heard it several hundred times before, but I can pick out that specific memory.

I didn't know, back then, that my mother had previously adopted a child. She and her first husband had once adopted a little girl but then the child's mother had chosen to keep her. Mom would never want to deny a mother her child, but the loss had broken her heart. She and her husband split up a few years later.

I cannot comprehend the level of bravery and strength it must have taken for my mom to decide to apply to adopt again, but it does not surprise me that she did. Nor is it a surprise that she was accepted to do so. You only need to meet my mom to know that she can – and will – do anything she sets her mind to.

The day that they told me that I could go and live with her, despite my young age, I could tell that she was nervous when she arrived. (Perhaps it's destiny that I was adopted by someone who reads people for a living.) Julianna, I could tell, was excited. The two of them sat either side of me on the sofa; James, my foster father, took a seat on his favourite chair and my social worker, Peter, took the remaining seat.

I remember wondering why Gillian was crying, though I am pretty sure there were no tears on her cheeks. They were in her eyes. I was worried that I had done something to upset her; that she didn't want to visit me anymore. Until she smiled and it was the widest smile I had ever seen. I have heard the description of a smile lighting up someone's face, or a room: This was one of those smiles.

The words they used to tell me about the adoption are lost to me, and I suspect it is because I was so distracted by her expression. But I remember feeling happy. Feeling overwhelming happy at the thought of this woman being my new mother.

I cannot imagine – and I don't think I would want to – what my life would have been like if I had not met Gillian Foster (now Lightman). My head and heart are filled with memories of the places we have been; the films we have watched; the books we have read; the games we have played every Family Games Night. My bedroom walls are filled with pictures of our adventures; snapshots of our life together.

We have had our moments, of course, I am a teenager after all. But it is impossible to stay mad at my mom and, inevitably, I will grovel back and apologize because, let's face it, I was in the wrong. She does not yell; she does not give me the silent treatment. I suspect she might, occasionally, turn to ice cream to get her through it, but everyone has at least one vice: Hers, I have discovered, is a sweet tooth. She will still come to kiss me goodnight, even if I am trying to be cross with her. She still reminds me that she loves me. Not that I would ever forget, for it is impossible not to feel it in the air when she is around. And after I apologize, she will hug me, she will tell me I am forgiven and she will smile that same smile that lit up my foster parents' living room ten years ago.

My mother has an inspiring, infinite capacity for love and it is thanks to this that the family of two she created for me now also includes a dad and two sisters.

I was so proud to act as Best Man at her wedding and I have been proud ever since as I continue to hear stories of her accomplishments; of her kindness; of the people she has helped through her career as a psychologist and at The Lightman Group. People smile when they talk about my mom, and, to me, that speaks volumes.

My dad will tell you that she has saved his life numerous times (some of them literally in their line of work).

My older sister will tell you she has brightened her life – not least because she keeps our father out of trouble, freeing Emily up to live said life.

And my younger sister will wholeheartedly agree with me when I say that my mother has not only influenced my life, but changed it completely.

And improved it immeasurably.

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