“As a parent it was my responsibility to allow them to carry out the plans to meet their goals and to be there to help whenever they need it. Sometimes as a parent, it may be hard for us to do that, but you know when we love our children, we do that.”
She said she tried “running away” by packing her bags and heading to Europe. She said even there, she was recognized as “Kevin Durant’s mom.”
“I couldn’t believe it. So I couldn’t even run away, but that wasn’t the answer,” Pratt said as her audience laughed.
Then something happened.
Pratt said she realized that she really didn’t have any idea what to do with herself at this point in her life. She said having raised her sons as a single mom — she had Anthony at age 18 and Kevin came three years later — she was incredibly close to both boys.
She said she had her own friends and she did things with them, but she said for the most part, she was Anthony’s mom and Kevin’s mom.
“I didn’t know anything about myself. My focus was on my children. All the lessons that I tried to teach and to instill in them, I had that, but I had it more directed to my children, than myself. So I had to learn the process to do that for myself,” she said.
Pratt said she realized that she didn’t know things like her favorite color — but she could tell anyone who asked anything they wanted to know about her boys.
Pratt said she took the time to ask God “what is my purpose?”
She said she looked back over her life and found that she had modeled herself after many of the “strong, wonderful, brilliant” women in her family. She said they, too, had made their role as mothers a priority and perhaps their own lives as individual women got put on the back burner.
Don’t get her wrong — Pratt said being mom to her sons was and is wonderful. Sure, there were struggles as they made their way in Seat Pleasant, Md., but they made it — together.
“It was hard but I enjoyed my time with my children,” she said.
However, Pratt said she now sees that her purpose is to share with others the lessons she has learned, to encourage women to expand their horizons beyond motherhood, to seek out fulfillment simply as the women God designed them to be.
That’s what she did, “so that’s where I’ve been,” she said, grinning.
“I can tell you today my favorite color is green,” she added, and luncheon guests noted that she wore a snazzy dress in an emerald shade of her favorite hue.
“Just being Wanda, I learned that my favorite cuisine is Italian, that I like to travel and I like to connect with people. I like to inspire people. I like to encourage and give hope to people.”
Pratt said she didn’t realize that people noted her absence from many of the regular season games until she returned to Oklahoma City and began showing up court side at Thunder games again.
“When I did come back in town, people were saying ‘We missed you, we missed you,’” she said.
She said she knew there was speculation about where she had been.
“I had heard stories about my mom being sick and that I was taking care of my mom, that there were problems between my son and me and all this kind of stuff and that was not the case,” Pratt said Thursday in an exclusive interview.
Pratt said she’s just having a ball finding out all about herself.
“I liken it to a budding flower — I’m still budding,” she said.
“I’m still coming into the fullness of who I am. Every day is a process for me but it’s a journey that I have enjoyed and will continue to enjoy.”
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If you go
•What: “How to Raise a Champion On and Off the Court” featuring Wanda Pratt
•When: 11 a.m. Sunday
•Where: OKC Faith Church, 800 S Portland Ave.
•Information: Find more details online at www.okcfaith.com and www.MamaDurant.com.