Disclaimer: there are no recent pictures of me and my mom! Seriously, the last picture was taken two years ago and it’s horrible so we’re just not even going to go there. I am such a bad millennial because I can’t do that obligatory Mother’s Day picture post on Facebook, but I do have two things. 1) a blog and a challenge that is conveniently telling me to write about the most important thing my mom taught me. 2) This picture, taken in Bordeaux after my mom and I went to the mecca of all boulangeries and had the most incredible pastries I have ever and will ever have in my life. How cute is she???
My mom taught me about dedication. She worked from home while my brother and I were growing up so that, if one of us got sick at school, she could come pick us up. or so she could spend time with us on school vacations; so she could come to all of our various meets, performances, kindergarten graduations — you name it, she was there. Never have I known a person who has given everything she has for her family like my mom did. I remember the summer before fourth grade, for example, when my dad was away the entire summer at the FBI academy in Virginia, and it was just my mom taking care of me and my brother for those 10 weeks. I was only eight years old, so I couldn’t really realise how excruciating that must have been for her. She had always taken care of me, my brother, and my dad, but she still had my dad to lean on, and be the other parent. That summer, it was just her. And, while still working from home, she did it, and we survived the infamous summer of 2003. There are a thousand more memories like this, but it would take an entire book, rather than a blog post, to go through all of the specifics.
My mom has been there for me in every sense of the word — the good, the bad, and the awkward. She has been a part of some of my happiest memories, like when I came out of school in April of 7th grade and she was sitting in the car holding up a big packet from Choate Rosemary Hall with my acceptance letter to their summer program inside. (Choate’s on my mind right now for several reasons) She let me be homeschooled for my freshman and sophomore year of high school and spent two years driving me around to classes and co-ops and things and because of her I experienced another huge shift in my academic mentality. She was there when I was in the middle of an abusive and manipulative relationship and struggling to fight my way back to the surface. She held me as I learned to breathe again, still shell-shocked, and as I navigated “normal” school again. She became my closest confidante as I entered happy times again, always listening to the stories from my day, no matter how late I got home. When I fell in love and was terrified of losing myself again, she was there. She had my first acceptance letter displayed on the kitchen counter when I got home from school one day in February. She came to every single performance of Chitty Chitty, Bang Bang and Titanic, every track and cross country meet, all the little senior events…everything. When I was a complete emotional disaster during my first year at Fordham, she would always answer the phone, even if it was the fifth time I had called that day “just to say hi.”
My mom is my lookalike (seriously, the resemblance of our childhood pictures is a little scary) and we have been told a thousand times that we look like Molly Ringwald. In fact, for my 18th birthday, I got the DVD of Sixteen Candles and we watched it together (a year and a half later :) ). She is my style guru because I’m absolutely hopeless. From her (and her mother), I inherited a love of all things food. She taught me how to not just follow a recipe, but how to actually cook for myself. She helped me come out of my shell and become independent, and has taught me — actually, she’s still teaching me — to accept and love myself. When something happens, whether it be good or not-so-good, she is the first person I think to tell, because I know she will understand without me having to explain myself too much. My mom knows me better than anyone else in the world, and that is an immense comfort that is impossible to put precisely into words.
So, my mom taught me not only dedication, but about immense love and devotion, both to yourself and those that you love, and I hope that I can come even a little close to doing for my family what my mom has done for the past 21 years. Here’s to you, Mom. I love you.
Inspired to be,