On being her kids' biggest fan.
She has always been my biggest supporter and has always believed in me more than I have. When I tried out for the dance team in college, she flew down to be with me for the audition, and then when the results were delayed, she delayed her flight home to stay with me. My mom also reads my blog every day and makes me feel like someone would really miss it if I didn't write.
On always being a mom first.
When I gave birth to Marshall, I remember very vividly the moment when I had arrived into the recovery room and all the new grandparents were heading in to see Marshall. My mom made it first (no doubt in my mind that she ran from the waiting room when they gave her permission to visit), and she would have been totally justified in rushing to see her grandson. Instead, though, she came to me. Even as a new mom, I needed my mom at that moment. She comforted me after that long labor and C-section, and it really made a tremendous difference that she gave me a hug before meeting Marshall.
My mom told me long ago that girls are mean. Not all of them, and not all the time, but plenty, and often. But my mom has always been an incredible example of rising above drama. (That's not to say she doesn't love a good gossip magazine, of course. :-) I think my mom has thick skin and generally focuses on the positive in other people. Growing up I never heard her speaking negatively about other women, and she also never seemed bothered by what other people thought of her. I am certainly not perfect about ignoring negativity and rising above others' opinions, but I do think my mom sets a great example that I can strive to achieve.
My mom always looks for a reason to celebrate. Just today I remembered a few different times when my mom has sent along a little care package for my birthday or for Valentine's Day. She is so thoughtful about remembering to give a little gift for a housewarming or noticing that one thing someone doesn't have and getting it for them.
In short, she doesn't use them. If you ever ask her for her amazing short ribs recipe or her delicious chili verde secret, she will say, "I don't know, I do something different every time. I just add a little of this, a little of that." And of course it always tastes better when she makes it, even if I do manage to get a recipe out of her.
Starting in college, my mom shifted her advice-giving techniques. Now, if I ask her how to clean something or about a certain cooking method, she'll almost invariably say, "I don't know, just look it up online." I've started Googling more and more in an effort to save time.
On loving those I love.
My mom is allergic to cats and never really liked them, but she has loved Scout since the day she met him. Now they cuddle every time she's in town, and I have to wait until she's gone before Scout will curl up on my lap again.
Happy birthday to my workout and shopping buddy! Love you, Mom!