I hope you all had a lovely mother’s day whether you have a mom or are a mom. We did. We took my mom on a hike and then went to my grammy’s favorite cuban sandwich shop. And then we went home and my mom did what all moms do, she helped me prepare for the National Stationery Show. Okay, so maybe all moms don’t do that exactly but they always give beyond what is reasonable for any one person to give.
And I just wanted to talk a little bit about my two moms. I’ve known my mom for 30 years and my mother in law for eleven but a mom is a mom is a mom and the way that they care for people transcends the amount of time you’ve known them.
My moms, despite having grown up in fairly different worlds are so much alike. We call them our “2 peas in a pod” and they adore each other. When music starts to play, they cannot not dance. Parts of their body start to move and soon nothing else matters but dancing and feeling the music. The both have infectious, effervescent personalities that draw people to want to be around them. They would both give you the shirt off their back, literally. (I once complemented my mother in law’s pants and she tried to give them to me.) They have and continue to work tirelessly to bring their family together as much as possible. The give generously of their time, affection and energy.
These are the day to day privileges of being around them but I have learned so many life lessons from them that I can’t name them here, so I’ll try to distill it down to just a few:
My mom has taught me: To work hard. To give to others. To be passionate about life. To put my own happiness first because without that, I cannot make anyone else happy. To never be afraid to change and grow. To never feel stuck in life. To love and take care of my body. To remain curious. To travel. To have compassion for others because you never know their plight in life. To never count other people’s money. To fight for what I believe in, no matter how hard it is. To do the right thing, no matter how hard it is. To stand up for myself. To make stuff. That some things in life are bigger than personal ego, that some things are so important, you have to swallow your own pride and just do what needs to be done. And that anything is possible. (also, not to block the intersection.)
My mother in law has taught me: To be resilient. That strength is found when you’re not sure you can go on anymore. That we are all stronger than we think. That in laws can be your true family too. That we can’t change the past but we can move forward with our heads held high and a smile on our face, knowing that life is what we make of it. That vulnerability is okay. To be myself. To be less guarded. And to go all in.
I think that moms are the architects of our families and both of mine have chosen to be all inclusive, living by the mantra “the more the merrier”. They are living proof that there is enough love to go around and there is no reason that a family cannot mean your entire community.
Sometimes I look at my moms and wonder how I’ll ever be as strong and selfless as they are. I’m not sure it’s possible, but I imagine that they probably feel the same about their own mothers and I feel comfort knowing that I am part of the natural cycle of life.