April is one of my favorite months. Not just because it means the beginning of Spring weather, but because it’s full of family birthdays, including my own! Today’s post is dedicated to my Mom. It’s her 48th birthday and after 23 years, I’ve sort of run out of unique gift-giving ideas. So, since she’s an avid reader/follower of my blog and is constantly encouraging me to continue writing, I wanted to honor her in a way I haven’t before.
In our family, Mom’s known for being tough and in control. She’s results-oriented (which sometimes can make her a teeny bit demanding, haha) but she has the biggest heart and the most passionate, pure soul of anyone I know. Mom is more than just a parent to me – she’s my best friend, confidant, and gossip go-to girl. She’s helped shape me into the person I am today and she’s ultimately the glue that holds all of us together. Here are the top 5 awesome lessons my Mom taught me:
1. Be generous. Without a doubt, my mom is the most generous person I know. She’s generous with her money, love, and time. It’s a value she’s instilled in me since I was little. We were never rich growing up, but we were taught to give as much of ourselves as we could in other ways. Even when I don’t have the money to give to those less fortunate than myself, I’ve still found other ways to give back to the community. Whether it be through volunteering with Habitat for Humanity in high school or volunteering in Guatemala throughout college, or giving advice to friends when they need it – I always remember to be generous.
2. Stick up for yourself. My mom is the last person on this earth who will put up with anyone walking all over her. In lamens terms, she doesn’t put up with your bullshit! For this reason, I often feared her when I was growing up. My older brother was the limit tester. I was the brown noser. I never wanted to feel the wrath of “Mom”. Today, it’s one of the traits I most respect about her. She’s always told me to stick up for myself because in the end, you’re the only person who will always be able to.
3. Read and write. Often. My mom didn’t just teach me how to read and write. She taught me how to enjoy and relish in the pleasure of doing both. I learned how to read in a way where I became a part of the story and then she showed me how to use my imagination so it transcended into my writing. She made imagination an important part of my childhood. Now, it’s become an important part of my adult life. I can say I am a better writer and creative thinker because of her.
4. The value of education. My mom constantly told me growing up that I was going to college. There was no say in the matter. She was the first in her family of seven to go to college and she did it while working full-time and raising a family. I’ve learned from her that anything is possible as long as you have the will to follow through. I’ve also learned that knowledge is power and it’s something that can never be taken away from you.
5. To say I love you – every chance you get. In my family, you show affection in every which way you can. You hold hands, you cuddle, you hug, and kiss on the cheek. In my parents case, you still play footsie after 20 years of marriage. This obviously has made me an extremely affectionate person in my adult life as well. Even to my friends, I am a constant hugger and cuddler. I remember growing up, I hated when my Mom would make me tell her, “I love you” when I was fuming mad. I’m glad she did. Without ever really telling me, she showed me that no matter how angry you can be, don’t forget you still love the person. Life is unpredictable – appreciate your life and the people in it everyday. And always remember to show them.
I could add to this list 100 times over, but these are the lessons that mean the most to me. To the most wonderful Mom in the world, Happy 48th Birthday! I love you, I love you, I love you.