They always say a picture is worth a thousand words and when Social Print Studio (an amazing photo printing shop that specializes in photo printing on metal and unique photo books) began sharing some words with their favorite photo of mom, I got to thinking not just about my mother, but my own journey into motherhood as well.
From the time your child comes into this world, to the time they are ready to leave the nest, when you become a mom–you quickly learn that there are lists of things to teach your kid. Sometimes, there are lessons you teach your child without even realizing it and those lessons just maybe the ones that matter the most in the end.
They say be careful what you say and do, because little eyes always see and little ears always hear you. I can attest to that, as I watch my toddler regurgitate the logic and expressions I have used on him over the past two years–which is amazing that somehow he can remember everything I say except for when I am asking him to clean up his toys or sit down and eat his food.
This mother’s day as I reflect on my mother and all that she has been and done for me over the years, I realized that I don’t dwell upon the typical lessons she taught me. I just remember something else–something much more profound:
The lessons she didn’t mean to teach me.
Because I know she is reading this, because I know she always has, and always will be my biggest fan, I am going to write this disclaimer for her: (Don’t worry, mom. Keep calm and read on.)
My mother and her biological sister were turned into an orphanage before the age of 5. My mother was separated from her biological sister and adopted into a new family by the age of 6. She struggled to connect and to adapt to life in her new home with her new family.That is just the beginning of her life.
She put herself through beauty school. She worked more hours so my dad could finally finish his college degree. She created, owned and operated two beauty salons. She employed an amazing number of beauticians, nail techs, and masseuses during this time.
She has survived breast cancer.
She has survived the death of (my older brother) her first born child.
All these moments combined have shown me that in spite of the back hands of life–my mother remains resilient. If I could sum up the lessons my mother didn’t mean to teach into two words, it would be STRENGTH and FAITH.
Strength–that even if you are swimming against the tide, you can and you will make it safely to shore. This is probably the reason why I remain so relentlessly optimistic about everything. This is the reason that no matter how low I fall, I know I can always get back up.
Faith — God is always there, he always cares, and that the storms we face are properties of the broken messed up human operated world we live in–not his character. Through the loss of her parents, cancer, and to the loss of her child—she has never lost her faith in God. This is also something I have attested as I’ve been through my own struggles and faith fracturing moments.
This is just the tip of tier when I think about all the things I learned from all the lessons she didn’t teach.
So now, as I raise my own children, I can’t help by wonder about the kinds of things I will inadvertently teach them. How will the view the world after seeing me face it? How will the view me after seeing the world? Lastly, what kinds of memories will I impress upon them?I don’t know. But what I do know is this:
Nothing in this world will ever raise the bar for the level of accountability required when you think about the kind of person you are (and need to be) when you become a mother.
Happy Mother’s Day, mom. 🙂 Thanks for everything! Love you.