Seven things I love about my Mom (in no particular order):
1. When I was younger, she not only indulged my (admittedly strange but) preferred activities, she enjoyed them alongside me. Some of my favorite memories from elementary school and younger include sneaking into our church’s balcony on Saturdays to spy on wedding ceremonies, and Friday picnics that included D’Angelos tuna pockets eaten in the back of our van with the liftgate open and then a trip next door to browse the Ethan Allen showroom floor. She knew at a young age that these things were important to me, and is probably the least surprised of anyone to see how they’ve blossomed into my career.
2. She is generous with her time. As just one example, from about sixth grade to twelfth grade, I had 4-5 dance classes a week half an hour away, and I had to be driven to every single one. Now that I’m older, that kind of time commitment boggles the mind. I never felt like she didn’t have enough space in her day to talk with me or read to me, and I still don’t.
3. She cries at the drop of a hat. My sisters and I used to make fun of her for this, and we still kind of do, but now I understand that she cries at commercials, movies, and people’s stories because she is a deeply compassionate person.
4. She is the warmest person you’ll ever meet. She has never met a stranger, and will make you feel welcome and included from the minute you come in contact with her.
5. Unsurprisingly, my friends love her, and she loves my friends. She is an “extra mom” to almost every one of them, and they often do things with her even when I’m not around. (True story.) She is always going out of her way to show them she cares about them, like the time she drove to my best friend’s art show a state away to show her support even though I couldn’t attend.
6. She is content. For most of my life, my Mom drove a white minivan that was known around our town as the Jellybean. My sisters and I were okay with it when we were younger, but by the time we were in high school and the van had aged considerably, we would not be caught dead driving it. My Mom, however, drove it happily, even saying that she preferred it to some of our family’s newer options. That may or may not have been true, but her example of not deriving her value from the type of car she drove, and of valuing other things (college payments!) over a new car, has made a huge impact on my life.
7. When my sisters and I were growing up, my Mom was never interested in being our friend. She was our mom, full stop. But now that I’m older, she has grown into one of my very best friends, and I am so grateful for that.
I love you, Mom. Happy Mother’s Day!