When my older brother walked to the bus stop for his first day of kindergarten, my Mother felt it. I don’t know what she felt, or how strong her emotions were, but she must have felt something watching her son march off to the first day of growing up.
Because she approached my father about having another child. Just one more. She wanted to try for a girl.
And she prayed.
She prayed for a baby girl with brown eyes.
9 months later, I made my debut. Brown-eyed, face-up, ready to see the world.
I often wonder if I met her expectations.
From sweet girl, to distraught teenager, to adventurous woman.
I don’t know the extent of her expectations, if she had any at all. I don’t know the details of her prayers for a little girl.
I do know that my Mother is a strong woman with standards, will, and faith. I do know that she loves me unconditionally. I do know that she is the biggest contributor to who I have become as an adult, both in her guidance, and as a role-model.
What I do know, I learned from my Mom.
1) Go Play Outside.
During the summer, my brothers and I spent the majority of our time outdoors. We grew up in the country, backed against rolling hills of forest. My Mom would scoot us outside stating, “Don’t come back inside unless you’re on fire.” It wasn’t punitive. Because of my mother’s encouraged outside time, I had a magical childhood full of adventures, characters, sports, and games. Although, I did always wonder if it was the best idea to run inside if I were to somehow catch on fire.
2) Work Hard.
My Mother is a hard worker. While she was pregnant with me, she helped roof the house I grew up in, and still consider home. She works laboriously, not only to pay the bills, but to help the people she works for. “They need me,” she says. And she’s right. We all need you, Mom.
3) Give Generously.
My Mother gives and gives and gives. Most of the time, for little in return. She gives her money, her resources, her time, and her energy. She gives to her family, her friends. She gives to strangers. She gives to people who have done her wrong. It doesn’t matter who is in need, my Mom is available with open arms.
4) Live Simply.
My Mother taught me that I don’t need a lot of materialistic things to be happy. She taught me that experiences and memories last much longer than tangible objects. I remember my first camping trip vividly. I don’t remember what toys I brought along and what outfits I was wearing.
So thank you Mom. Thank you for living simply, playing and working hard, and devoting yourself for the betterment of others. Thank you for teaching me to do the same.