Today we are celebrating a very special day in our home. It is my birthday, but more importantly it is the day that I gave birth to our first daughter Sweetpea. Her birth was chaotic and challenging and a story left for another day but it was an amazing experience to share her birth with my husband and my mom when 24 years earlier my mom was experiencing the exact same thing.
Now Sweetpea is 3 years old and I find myself reflecting on the things that my mom did to shape me into the woman that I am, and hoping that I can do the same for my own daughter.
First and foremost my mom taught me to be kind. Not just say 'please and thank you' but really, truly be kind in actions, words and thoughts. I work on this daily to balance being kind and not being a push over and in the face of frustrations often have to remind myself as often as I remind Sweetpea to be kind.
My mom also taught me to work hard. I saw her from an early age going to night school and doing distance education programs to upgrade her education in the face of changing technologies. Never once did she complain about her workload or how after a full day of work, house keeping and parenting she then 'retired' to the kitchen table to work some more. She always told me that education is facinating, enriching and will take you further than anything else, it will open doors that you didn't even know existed. When I was graduating from highschool and applying to universities I was so worried because I didn't know "what I wanted to do when I grew up" and was afraid of "waising my time" with a program that wouldn't take me there. She always looked at me and said "Bonnie, an education is never a waste." She always encouraged me to follow my heart and my passion and this made me a much more well rounded and confidant person. She went from being a stay at home mom, to teaching at the local college to finding her dream job - and she fought tooth and nail every step of the way. She really has inspired me to do the same.
Most importantly my mom taught me unconditional love. She always kept it real. If I was being a pain in the butt, bossy or 'saucy' she let me know, and then gave me an example of how I could express myself in a more constructive way. She always had a fresh perspective on my problems and could help me work through them in a way that I was finding the answers for myself. And if there were no answers, she let me know that, that was ok - and then she held me while I cried.
There is so much that my mom did for me, and still does and if I can pass on a fraction of her wisdom and heart to my daughters I know they will be strong, capable and lovely women.