Today we celebrate the women who raised us. They both had their hands full bringing up two independent, perfectionist, stubborn girls like we were. We both share similar traits on how we like things done (our way), our southern hospitality and values, and creative brains that seem to never shut off. Most of which are products of how we were brought up and the fostering of these by our mothers.
My mom taught me the value of hard work and raised me to be the independent woman that I am (she would argue too independent at this point in my life haha). She worked hard without complaints, and to this day she's still a boss lady at her job that always strives for more and furthers her education endlessly. She doesn't stop (could also be part of the brain never shutting off syndrome??).
What I remember most about growing up with my mom is her love for Merle Haggard, she loves the same pair of blue jeans and t-shirts, and that when I need her no doubt she will be there. As I've gotten older that last one means the most. All of the women in my family have a unique bond of standing up to the world for one another and being right there with you through it all and I'd like to think my mom has been that for all of us at some point. She swoops in and takes care of things even at times when she's hurting also, but you'd she'd never let you know it.
I would imagine most moms with daughters think about how much fun it will be baking cookies, doing their hair, or shopping for cute dresses. Thank god my mom isn't most moms, because she sure didn't get that when she had me. The thing she never anticipated about raising a strong willed, independent, adventurous daughter is how many times she'd get drug along to some foreign country, off the beaten path, or on some wild adventure. She's learned over the years to keep her bag packed and passport up to date because she never knows when or where she'll get the call. And if she doesn't have what she needs she'll just get it when she gets there (she's adapting to the backpacker lifestyle). Maybe she encouraged me a bit TOO much that I could go where I wanted and that I could do anything hahaha.
Like the time I booked a ticket to the Philippines and she decided I needed a chaperone. I made her ride in a makeshift motorcycle rickshaw after an 18 hour plane ride, then when we got to the place I had booked to stay she had to walk past a pig pen to get to our room. From the photos you'd never know what she really had to say to me.
Or when I decided to climb Kilimanjaro and she came to meet me afterwards to go on a "Great African Safari". She arrived to the hotel to find half the climbing group I was with back already because of the worst storm on the mountain in 50 years and I was still pushing to the summit. I am still glad I had no cell phone during that time period, she'd cooled off quite a bit when I came off the mountain wearing no shoes.
So to say that my mom puts up with more than the average is a fair statement. But I also like to think that she gave me the courage, tenacity, and work ethic to go above and beyond. As I've gotten older I appreciate her more every year, and if she's lucky on our next adventure I'll book her a nicer room! Either way I know she'll be right there when I call.
There were a lot of things my mother made me think was wrong when I was growing up, for example: listening to country music, calling her ‘Mama’, and that crap and fart are 4 letter words. But my mother showed me a lot of what was right through her actions as a patient, nurturing and encouraging mother.
My mother never really sat me down to teach me profound life lessons other than to never cut bangs (whoops). But as children we learn our lessons through observation and absorbing the behaviors of our parents (good and bad). My mother showed nothing but an abundance of patience and nurturing to me while I was growing up. When I really wanted to draw Aerial exactly like she looked like in the Disney movie and I just couldn’t get the eyes right, my mom was oh so patiently there for me to fix my lop sided cartoon eyes and encourage my obsessive compulsive behavior. When I wanted to be Pocahontas for halloween (and I’m not talking about the Pocahontas from the movie but the one from the Christmas book with the winter cape) she patiently sat down and made a pattern for the luxurious cape with fringe and even made Pocahontas’ necklace painstakingly out of clay so that it looked exactly like the one in the movie. She did this because she loved me and knew that the sacrifice of her time and effort would in turn make me the happiest 1st grader around.
Whenever I am having a bad day and just need a good long distance chat she is always willing to stop everything that she is doing to listen and comfort me. She encouraged me to be creative and to think outside of the box - never telling me there was something I couldn’t do - now, shouldn’t, yes - but never couldn’t.
Neither of us are mothers ourselves so we can only imagine what both of ours went through and sacrificed for us. Thank you to both of you for all that you've done and what you continue to do in our lives. You can't imagine how many mom jokes we make about both of you.
Happy Mother's Day to all The Florida Local mamas out there, we know its a bit different this year but we hope you found joy in your day and that you can enjoy your favorite latte with us soon!!