Lessons learned from Mom.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

This weekend we had the honor of celebrating my mom.  She turns 70 in November (doesn't look a day over 50) and my sisters and I threw a surprise birthday party for her.  Let me just say, trying to keep a secret, plan and organize a huge party for the most helpful person in your life who couldn't help with it was tough!  Not to mention, trying to avoid mom just popping over while we're getting tables, chairs, tents, and balloons delivered!  I had a back up excuse for all of it and my brain hurt from coordinating each detail.  Then mom surprises us with a visit 45 minutes before our "team" arrives to begin setting up.  Told a little white lie about all the flowers I had lined up on the counter....  Sorry, mom! Needless to say, we pulled off the surprise and she had absolutely NO IDEA.  *Exhale the breath I held all day Friday...*

I want to be like my mom when I grow up ;)  When you throw a surprise 70th at a roller skating rink, you know it's for a lady who is truly young at heart.  When mom walked in and saw my sisters and niece who were in from out of town, she was in complete shock.  Then she saw family and friends smiling back at her and she could not believe we were all here for her.  mom1

My mom is always there for everyone.  From volunteering at local festivals, to donating her time and resources at animal shelters, and an active member at her church, mom always says "Yes" without hesitation.  I see her generous spirit shine no matter what she does.  Need a ride, a hand organizing your garage sale, someone to bake cookies for a picnic?  Mom's your girl.  Request the Cowboy Cookies, they're super tasty!  I'm reminded that giving is way better than getting.  Give and share at any opportunity, you'll receive more than you know. 

Travel and see the world.  We've traveled since we were kids.  Regular camping trips where we were free to explore the woods and walk in creeks gave us the opportunity to get "lost" in the beauty of nature.  We let our imaginations run free and the world was ours to discover.  Mom has always loved an adventure.  She lead us on many hikes, to new cities where we'd wander and sightsee till our feet ached, and we always found a tea house or cupcake shop no matter where we traveled.  Need a road trip buddy?  Mom's your girl.  She even drove my friend (who is like a sister) cross country to help her move.  I hope I have the same adventurous spirit as my mom when I'm her age.  Before my sisters and I were born, mom traveled the world with Up With People.  Their songs provided the perfect soundtrack for our roller skating party too!  Seriously, browse iTunes for some feel good jams!   They all send a positive message which is totally groovy ;)

Leave a place better than you found it.  No matter where we go, mom will tidy up, rearrange or recycle to help out.  If you know my mom, you know she recycles.  And I don't just mean, she's got the standard glass, plastic, and paper bins.  Mom is the Recycling Queen.  We've had to pull over on the side of the road to pick up a plastic bottle, because first of all, it's litter, and second of all, it can be recycled.  So, duh, of course we need to pick it up.  My son has joined mom and I for "Clean Up Days" at the beach.  I appreciate that he recognizes trash should be thrown in the can not on the ground.  When he sees litter he runs to grab a bag and starts collecting.  We empasize picking up when we're at the library or at a friend's house.  Leave a place better than you found it, not for any other reason other than, it's just the right thing to do.  Need someone to teach you what the numbers on the bottom of plastic containers mean?  Mom's your girl.  Thanks for teaching me how to break down a cardboard box in seconds, mom!

Have patience, because happiness is now.  Mom was an elementary school teacher for 36 years.  I have no idea how she taught kids all day, then came home to 3 kids and actually had the patience to listen and laugh with us.  Memories of my childhood are full of simple times at the dinner table eating mac-n-cheese straight out of the pot.  We played dress up and were singing and dancing almost every day.  Mom allowed us to express our own individuality, while teaching us to respect and be kind to each other.  My sisters and I certainly had our disagreements and arguments, but in the end we always worked it out.  We're still very close and I know it's from the examples that my mom set and the way she lived her life.  I'm sure I said at some point, "I'll never do this like my mom."  Now, I can guarantee you, I'm doing my best to embody a whole list of mom's amazing qualities.  I am reminded daily, weekly, monthly, how quickly the time is flying by with my babies.  I try each day to have more patience and recognize that the moment I'm in is where life is happening.  There's almost always some happiness to be found.  Mom showed us day after day, that right now is the moment to be grateful for.   Need someone to laugh and dance in the kitchen with you?  Mom's your girl.

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What a joy it was to celebrate my mom's 70 years this weekend.  She was surrounded by family and friends.  Actually, she was literally surrounded by them since we were crammed into our house while torrential rain poured outside.  All we could do was laugh about it as we ran into the house getting absolutely soaked!  The catering company arrives as the skies open up.  My husband has the sense to go outside and take down one of the tents just before it comes out of the ground and almost crashed through our window.  It was a wild display from Mother Nature!  So much for enjoying a sunny picnic...  In the end I think it worked out for the best.  Actually, I know it turned out exactly as it was meant to, because that's how life works.  We all cozied into the house and had the opportunity to really chat with new folks.  We got to share stories and memories that we may not have heard if we were wandering around the backyard, distracted by lawn games.  We laughed, ate, drank, sang and celebrated a woman who is as selfless and compassionate as it comes. 

Mom always rolls with the punches and goes with the flow.  Rain or shine, it's a beautiful day. 

My sisters and I are lucky to share more life and memories with our mom.  We try not to take this gift for granted.  We'll continue to travel, donate our time and gifts, recycle and laugh daily.  Because mom says so...

What are your favorite qualities about your mom?  Give her a call or a hug if you can :)

Love, Amy

 

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