Because both my Mom and Chris’ Mom would probably prefer a photo of Will to a photo of themselves on this blog…and because I’m getting behind in my photo editing, oops!
About a week before Mother’s Day last year I started drafting a post dedicated to my Mom and my Mother-in-Law.
I never posted it though. At some point, about 1/100th of the way through everything I was going to write to them, I had the equivalent of 10 pages typed–single spaced.
It was at that point I decided a non-fiction-ish novel/memoir/action-thriller would be a better medium to show my appreciation. Their lives have been filled with so much adventure and drama, trial and triumph. I don’t know if I could really do justice to their stories, but I hope to try someday.
And in the meantime I don’t know how to write a blog post that can adequately express just how amazing these two women are, how much they’ve taught me or how much I love them. This year, again, I find myself drafting and redrafting this post, filling up screen after screen and still not finding any of what I write to be quite enough.
So let me just say this:
Among many, many other things growing up, my mother taught me the definition of unconditional love and she taught me selflessness. She makes me feel so loved, everyday, even at my worst moments. She taught me that anything worth doing is worth staying up all night for and that sleep is only as necessary as you believe it to be. She taught me that sometimes the hardest, most demanding jobs are the most rewarding. She taught me to love roller coasters and Star Wars, and to stop and smell the lilacs in the spring time. My mother taught me integrity, she taught me to always do the right thing, to never lie, to never make excuses, and to never let someone else do for me what I could do for myself.
She taught me all of these things not by telling but by doing. As a kid I watched her take care of us everyday, with an energy, patience and sense of humor that never seemed to falter, no matter what. My mother is such a good person and yet, she’s still human and just so fun to be around. In high school my mom went back to school for her Master’s degree, routinely staying up all night to study after pulling 3 days of 14 hour shifts in a row. After she finished her degree while working full-time and raising two kids, she said she was bored and asked me what I thought of her taking up a new hobby: either archery or sky-diving. That’s my Mom, in a nutshell.
My mother-in-law is cut from the same cloth as my mother, in many ways. They were born on opposite sides of the planet and they’ve lived very different lives from one another, but they are so similar in so many ways that I often wish they lived in the same place, I think they would be good friends.
They are both very tiny women who would rather walk across a city on foot for hours on end than hop in a car. Neither of them are very good at sitting still for any length of time. If I leave either them alone in my home for more than 10 minutes, I’ll return to find it suspiciously tidier than when I left. They are both incredibly smart, incredibly stubborn and they are amazing cooks. They both thrive on change and adrenaline and adventure.
I feel so lucky to have a mother like mine, but also a mother-in-law like Chris’ mom. I learn so much from her. One of my favorite things about Chris’ mom is that-to her-nothing is impossible. There is always a way, always a solution; and if it’s coming from her, its usually also creative, elegant and deceptively simple. She teaches me how to think outside the box and the power of a “why not?” attitude in a “that won’t work” world. From Chris’ mom I’ve learned that no small detail is unimportant, from the height of a countertop to the garnish on a dish. She has taught me the joy of making things look beautiful, even in the smallest, most everyday of ways. She is the kindest, most diplomatic and most considerate person you could ever meet; and she has taught me exactly the kind of mother-in-law I want to be for Will’s spouse someday: loving, warm, open-minded, so incredibly patient and so incredibly supportive.
Growing up, I always felt so lucky to be my mother’s daughter, now I feel so grateful to also have a mother-in-law like Chris’ mom. These two women are the reason I feel so lucky to be Will’s Mama now-they’ve taught me what the best of motherhood looks like.
Happy Mother’s Day and all of my love. I’m the luckiest daughter in the world.