Long before I became a mom, I was a teenager. Despite being what I would consider a “rule follower” for the most part, I had moments where I didn’t like a decision that my mom made and I would say things like “I will never treat my kids this way” or “When I have kids, I’ll let them do xyz!”. Hindsight is 20/20, right? I know now that my mom was doing what was best for me and making decisions for reasons that I couldn’t even fathom at the time in my still-growing teenager brain.
There are moments since my son was born that I catch myself doing or saying something that I think “Oh, I sound like my mom!”. (“Time for a happy-nappy, Jacob!) It makes me laugh and gives me a little smile. You see, despite growing up thinking that I didn’t want to be like my mom, there are things that I desperately want to do just like she did.
I want Jacob to…
…pick fresh flowers from our garden to bring to his teacher on the first day of school.
…feel pride in growing a vegetable and herb garden that he can pick from every night for dinner.
…get off the bus every day and see me, just like she did, and spend the entire walk home talking about his day.
…learn how to make homemade salsa and give it away as gifts for the holidays for people to enjoy.
…learn how to make gifts for the teachers like my mom painted tins and filled them with fresh baked cookies every year.
…look up from whatever sport he is playing and see me standing there, cheering him on.
…always know that he can talk to me about anything and everything. I want to offer him a “quarter for his thoughts”, as my mom did, and know that he will open up to me.
…know that even when I’m angry or frustrated, I still love him. And although I can’t fix all the wrong in the world, I can offer him a little peace from the chaos. Even if that peace is in the form of baking cookies together.
…go on adventures with me. Spur of the moment adventures with no planning or destination in mind. Those are some of my favorite memories with my mom – skiing around the block, spelunking, learning about ruins and Thatcher Park.
…know that a hug from mom can make a lot of the world’s worries go away.
…know the importance of a cooked meal at home as a family, even on a busy night.
…know the importance of church on Sunday and giving back to the community.
…know the love of family, not just his parents but his grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and everyone in between. Near or far, the love of family is priceless – my mom never failed to show us that.
…know a mom that is involved – in his school, his sports, his community, his interests. My mom support everything I did (and do!), whether it was Girl Scouts, softball, track, cross country, cheerleading (even when I was horrible!) and everything in between.
…know tradition. Even though they may not always be perfectly planned, they are something to look forward to every year and enjoy a bit of sameness in an ever-changing world.
…value time. Whether it’s time celebrating, relaxing, planning, preparing or just being…I want him to value the importance of every moment life offers.
…to love a lot. To love life, people, friends and adventures. Because my mom still does.
I am sure that my mom, like any mom, looks back and thinks that there are things she would do differently but I wouldn’t change a thing. It has made me into the person that I am today – and for that, I am eternally grateful.
Happy Mother’s Day to all of the incredible moms out there. The moms who sacrifice daily, who love unconditionally and who would do anything and everything for their children. You are amazing, inspiring and loved. So loved.