Saturday, April 16, 2011

Lessons from my mother

In honor of my mother's birthday today, I decided to dedicate this post to her and share one of my favorite pictures of the two of us. Unfortunately this picture is not the most flattering picture of us (sorry Mom!) but it shows the thing we do best together, LAUGH! As you can see we are not quiet cacklers, we guffaw with gusto! With each passing year our mouths get wider and the laughter gets louder. 

My mother has more creativity in her little pinky finger than I possess in my entire body. She was the mom that made homemade playdough and threw scrunchie making parties for me and my girlfriends. An incredibly talented seamstress, my mother made all sorts of things like perfect Halloween costumes and extravagant Easter dresses that had enough ruffles on them to put the dresses on the show Toddlers and Tiaras to shame. My dolls even had dresses that matched my holiday garb. I didn't appreciate my custom made wardrobe as a child, but what I wouldn't give for that now. Falling asleep to the hum of her sewing machine was not unusual, especially the nights before any major holiday. They should include that sound in white noise machines. 

Here are just a few of the things that I have learned from my mother:
1. "The good thing is..." She is constantly focused on the silver lining. No matter what she may be going through she will find some sort of positive aspect of a bad situation. Each day she intentionally puts on her rose colored glasses and enjoys the view.

2. "Of course you can!" Ever the cheerleader to all those she loves and cares for, my mother is ready to support and help where she can. Growing up with her voice of encouragement in my head telling me to, "Go for it! Try it!" gave me confidence to brave through uncharted territory and the courage to try new things. 

3. "Options! Options!" Whether you want the input or not, within milliseconds of a quandary my mom has twenty different options of things to do, ways to accomplish a project, or possible meals to eat. I can imagine that skill came from raising three children who were constantly hungry or bored with nothing to do. 

4. "So I met a new friend..." at Starbucks, the park, on the plane, at the Landry Mat, on a walk, in the bathroom! People are drawn to my mother. Our family has come to anticipate that Mom will make a friend anywhere we go. A family vacation is not complete without being best friends with those in the campsite next to us, or the waitress who remembered Mom's extra lemons for her iced tea in the town we were passing through.

Both my sister-in-laws told me this week how much I am like my mother. As a teenager, that was the one thing I dreaded to hear most. Now as an adult, and a mother to two kiddos, I take that comment as compliment. My mom understands me in ways that not many do. She has learned the right time to push and the right time to just hold me close and offer comfort. She often sacrifices her own agenda or desires if that means being available to help out another and make their life a little (or A LOT!) easier.   

Happy Birthday, Mom! You are such a gift to your family, friends, and anyone that is fortunate enough to cross paths with you! I love you!

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