Lessons From My Mother

Mom and Me

True fashion icons know the beauty behind big hair and tracks suits.

Mothers and their children are in a category all their own. There’s no bond so strong in the entire world. No love so instantaneous and forgiving.
–          Gail Tsukiyama

A few weeks ago, I wrote an article about the things I’ve learned from my father. Because I love and adore my parents equally, I have to give a shout out to my dear Mums. And yes, I do call her that. And yes, it does come out in my own quirky version of a terrible British accent.

First and foremost, without my mom, I wouldn’t even be here. Sure, we could go into the whole “she needed my dad to make me, blah blah blah” spiel, but seriously, she went through every effort for me to be born. This woman went through labor, and then when I was still too stubborn, had to have a C-section. The fact that I have her unconditional love even after all that is a true feat.

Thanks to mom, Nikki and I had an incredible childhood. Her nachos and cookies and cream milkshakes were in constant demand from every kid that lived on our street. She taught me that as kids, we should be having fun. We should be cautious, safe, and take the right kind of chances. I understand calculated risk even though I’ve never been very good at math.

And her efforts were boundless. My mom is truly the backbone of our family. To this day, she holds a fulltime job, but I have rarely, if ever, heard her complain about cooking dinner for us. And just to be clear, this woman could win MasterChef in an instant. Gordon Ramsay wouldn’t even know what hit him. Seriously. I can very easily admit that my mom has spoiled the shit out of us through her food. I must apologize in advance to my future husband as I will never be able to cook as great as she does. But I will somehow figure out that recipe to her homemade brownies with homemade fudge icing. Excuse me for a second while I find a paper towel to wipe the drool coming out of my mouth.

From her I learned the meaning of eternal support and forgiveness. No matter what dreams I have had, my mom has been right by my side, even leading me along when I’ve felt too tired to carry on. Hell, she’s probably even thrown me over her back a time or two. She is nothing if not resilient. The two of us each share our battle scars from warring with each other, but no matter what, she has always listened to my problems, my concerns, my ideas – and all when I’m sure she had much bigger problems, bigger concerns, and even bigger ideas. She has never – and never will – give up on me. Despite all of the disagreements and arguments, I find forgiveness at the other end. Every. Single. Time. Thank you for letting me be selfish, Mom. And thank you for teaching me how to be selfless.

Thank you for teaching me to be mindful. Although I’ve gotten annoyed plenty of times from hearing the phrase “make sure you bring a jacket!” as I’m dashing out the door in a pair of ripped jeans and some sort of blouse I think highlights my cleavage in a classy, yet subtly sexy way, I’ve always been thankful that I end up bringing one. Like I said, the woman birthed me, she knows I’m in a constant state of frigidness. And there are other reminders that I have never tired of hearing: “Don’t forget to set the DVR to record 24.” “Remember how amazing I think you are.” “I love you.”

And because she is sensitive (much like I am), she has always been my first shoulder to cry on. She’s the one woman I can constantly lean on, but she never makes me feel guilty for leaning on her. Whether it’s over a boy or over a fight with my sister or anything else, she will sit there with a hug and another one of her beautiful reminders that this will pass, and I will come out stronger in the end.

In many other ways, I am my mother’s daughter. And I couldn’t be prouder. Just the other night, we were listening to Maroon 5’s Maps and she started dancing around the kitchen. No shame whatsoever. And I can’t even recall the amount of times I’ve danced around that same kitchen. With the same amount of gusto. I can count on her to sing along to our favorite country songs. To swoon over Luke Bryan together. Because of her, I know the value of looking for sales. I know that jealousy is a useless emotion. I understand that family comes first. I know the beauty in building your friendships with your girlfriends. And because of her, I know how to be a good person. I know I am a good person. And I know I am striving to be a great person. Just like Mums.

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