Last weekend I attended Mom 2.0 Summit in Phoenix, AZ.
(So I’m sorry I didn’t get my I Love These Things up last week, but now you know why. )
There are a gazillion different blogger conferences. And it seems like I’ve been to about a billion of them, but this one was different. It really focused on the theme of storytelling. With today’s amount of soundbites, blips, video clips, and text messages, we can lose site of the story.
Our family’s story.
And then, if you aren’t careful, the keeper of the story is gone, and you wonder why you didn’t take an afternoon, with a recorder and glean every bit of information you could. And so, I’m doing it in reverse today. I’m telling you the story of my mom from my perspective. My story of her.
1. My Mom is The Same Today As When I Was Ten Years Old.
You know how your friends will talk about their parents and they will say, “OMG, you should have seen what she was feeding my kids?” or “Do you know how late she let them stay up?” or “They slept in bed with her.” or “She bought them X, Y, and Z!” and it usually finishes with…“THEY NEVER DID THAT WHEN I WAS GROWING UP!”
My mom is the same today as she was when I was ten years old.
She loved and still loves a good snuggle.
She fiercely loved and still loves her family.
She loved to spoil and still loves to spoil her family with nice things and surprises.
She would listen and still listens to her family when their hearts are hurting.
She was love to me when I was growing up and she is love to my kids now as a grandparent. She’s the same. And for that I’m thankful.
2. My Mom Kicks Ass in The Business World.
My mom got pregnant with me when she was 19. Got married at 20. Had a baby girl the same year.
(20 years old people, the thought of that still makes me shutter a bit.)
Here she was…a few short years away from her carefree high school days…with a new husband, a new baby, living in a house that was only one step away from a shack, and broke.
For some people, that combination would have been the start to the end.
Not her. (Or them, it truly was a them, because they are still married.)
She waited tables. She worked the night shift while Dad worked the day shift so I wasn’t in childcare. And then she worked harder, and eventually made it into the office of the restaurant chain. And then she started working for the University. And then she got promoted. And promoted again. And then she went back and got her degree. And promoted again. And promoted again. And I can’t even describe what her job is except to say that she is only a stone’s throw away from the Vice Chancellor at the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska.
My mom taught me that you NEVER EVER give up on your dreams; that you work hard, because hard work pays off; and you never, ever make an excuse for pulling a chair up to the table. She was my Gloria Steinem. She was my Sheryl Sandberg. She taught me a long time ago that it was okay to be a feminist and to lean in. And this entrepreneur is super proud of her kick-ass mom.
3. My Mom Is Pretty.
I know, I know, everyone has a pretty mom.
But my mom is really pretty.
She’s 61 and people think she is in her 40s. (I will admit that this irritates me and makes me proud at the same time because I am in my 40s.)
She exercises regularly, either walking four miles or riding her exercise bike almost everyday. She gets her hair highlighted. She waxes her eyebrows. She wears nice clothes. She takes pride in herself.
And she doesn’t do it because she wants to make my dad happy (quite the opposite, he gives her a hard time every time she gets ready) or to keep up with the Jones’s or to fight getting older.
She does it because it makes her feel good.
Do you know what a great role model that is? She wants to look nice because she wants to. Not to impress. Not to gain favor. Not to turn men’s heads (even though she did in her hey-day). Not to pretend that she is someone she’s not.
She’s teaching that to my daughter now. To love who you are, regardless of what anyone else expects you to do. To take pride in being you. Because being you, feeling good about being you, and enjoying being you….is pretty freakin’ important stuff, especially to little girls in today’s society.
I love my mom for more reasons than I could possibly ever write and honestly, and if I tried, I would inevitably miss a few after the fact.
In the end, she’s my mom. And she’s my friend. And I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom.
See past editions of I LOVE These Things.