I’ve been gifted this life with a really great Mom. She has been there to support me through rough teenage years, grueling schedules as a competitive figure skater, changing majors from engineering to anthropology, changing careers to yoga teacher, and everything in between. She has navigated being a parent with such grace, and I have the best memories of our times together.
I’ve been reflecting a lot recently about some of the lessons she’s taught me over the course of my life, and today is the perfect day to share them!
1. Be Creative – find your outlet for creativity and make time for it
My Mom is a craft genius. She can sew, design things, and execute beautiful pieces of just about anything in the blink of an eye. This craft gene was lost on me (my sister got it!) but nonetheless my Mom encouraged in me what you are reading now – my creative streak rests in my reading and writing skills. She made sure I always had access to journals, books, and stories. Because of her I learned to read early, write early (sorry Aunties for writing my name all over your walls as a child), and to continually express myself creatively through writing. No matter how busy my Mom gets, she always has a side project going. And no matter how busy I got, she always encouraged me to find the time to write stories, poems, and journal entries.
2. Celebrate Birthdays
As a child I had the most epic birthday parties (so did my siblings): Luaus, Mexican themed Fiestas, Roller Rink parties and more. All our friends and family were invited to gather under the theme of the year, eat good food, play games, and revel in the beautiful gift of life we had been given for another year. To this day, I think birthdays are a big deal! My Mom instilled in me not only a love of creating and enacting theme parties, but more importantly of celebrating the lives of those important to us in incredible ways. Nowadays I like to celebrate birthdays for a whole week or month – mine and yours!
3. Get to Know Your Siblings Deeply
I’m blessed with a brother and a sister. My Mom has a lot more siblings! Growing up, she always instilled in us how important it was to get to know another for who we are and to respect our differences. She was always there for her sisters and brothers when they needed her. They bring each other, to this day, chicken soup when they have colds. They talk to one another all the time. She has been an incredible model for valuing family even when there are big differences of opinion or lifestyle. I am nothing like my brother or sister (except maybe our penchant for chit chat), but we find common ground and stay connected. I really dislike when even a week goes by without talking to them about their lives. We don’t get to choose our blood related siblings, life chooses them for us, but they are so important! Through thick and thin, these are the people by our sides no matter what. Knowing how to relate and talk to them builds strong bonds that support us. I learned from my Mom that there is nothing big enough to separate her from her siblings, they will always find a way back to each other – and I feel the same way about mine!
4. When in Doubt: Play Scrabble
When I was sick, my Mom and I played Scrabble. When I couldn’t sleep, my Mom and I played Scrabble. When I was angry/sad/upset, my Mom and I played Scrabble. When my sister and I had an argument, we played each other in Scrabble! In my memories, there is very little that could not be solved by a good game of Scrabble and a cup of tea. To this day, I love the game for so many reasons, but most of all because it reminds me of some of the best times with my Mom. I still go over to my Mom’s house, bust out the old tiled game and dusty pad of paper with scores on it, drink tea and play a good game. Only now, I don’t always lose!
My Mom used to get up before 4am to get me to the ice rink on time for practice. She worked full time and still made me a lunch every day of school until I graduated high school. She read my papers and gave me feedback. She looked over my math homework and chemistry work even if she didn’t know the material. She cheered me on when I felt I had no one else in my corner. These are only four of the incredibly profound messages I’ve received from my Mom over the course of my life, but tonight they stick out as important ones. And if you want in on the next crafting party, sibling outing, Scrabble game or birthday bash…let me know! My Mom is also mom to lots of others 🙂