beauty, childhood memories, Cranbrook BC boudoir photographer, Family, grateful, happy tears, home, Hug a mom, inspirational, kootenays, love, memories, Mother's Day 2014, parenting, personal, sisters, Stephanie Moore
Occasionally I get compliments about the person that I am.
That’s not bragging. That’s just the honest truth. I am so honoured every time someone mentions anything regarding my character, but I always just smile and say the same thing.
“Thanks- my parents did a really great job with me.”
I never really realized the truth in that statement until I had kids of my own. Parenting is such a hard job, and it never quits. You don’t get to come home, kick off your shoes, and quit parenting. Your kids watch your ever move, gleaning information non-stop, taking their cues from you. By being who you are, you are forming who they are, and who they will become. It’s terrifying.
I think back on my childhood, and never once do I feel like, “wow, that was sucky.” We had no electricity, television, running water, indoor plumbing, or other basics that pretty much everyone my age has never had to live without. We didn’t have two dimes to rub together. Never once have I felt deprived, or that my parents made me miss out on things. They didn’t have much to give us in the materialistic sense, but I had the best childhood a kid could ask for because of what my parents did have for us.
Love. I have not gone a single day in my life without feeling loved. I wake up in the morning, and I know that I am loved beyond the shadow of a doubt. The words “I love you” have rained down on my ears and my soul since before I was born, and have not quit. I have said those three words so many times I could not count them if you held a gun to my head. I have experienced such a wealth of love and acceptance that it has molded me into a creature who is able to love deeply, fiercely, and without fear.
Confidence. Since I have always known love, I have never felt alone. I have always known that no matter what, blood runs thicker than water and I can unabashedly be myself without fear of rejection. I have such a team of cheerleaders in my parents and family that it wouldn’t matter if someone called me names, or said negative things about me, or tried to bring me down. I would be able to look that person straight in the eye, and deal with it with confidence and a witty comeback. I know that my family has my back, in the way an Italian knows “da family” has your back. I’m supported. I am SO BLESSED to never have to walk alone into anything.
Compassion. We rescue people. I cannot count the times that my family has taken in strays from all walks of life. Five generations of rescuers, and now my husband Graham and I get our turn. We are so blessed to be able to bring people into our homes and hearts, to pour into their lives with the love we’ve been given, to pool our resources and make a difference. My family taught me that people have value, no matter who they are, what they have done, or where they come from. They taught me to see the world in black and white, to have a strong sense of what is right, and to raise people up.
Bravery. When I was about to start college, my mom came into the house covered in blood. In a normal household, that would be seen as alarming, but in our house it wasn’t too far offside. I calmly asked her what she was doing, and with a huge smile on her face she told me, “I know what I want to be when I grow up.”
We had, up until that fateful day, a cow who would not bring a calf to term. My mom, who is a fourth generation Saskatchewan farm girl, had taken it upon herself to perform an “autopsy” on said cow, and had deduced the problem (not that the cow would have that problem ever again.) She told me she wanted to be an OR nurse, and when my younger sister and I went off to college, so did she. She excelled in all of her classes, was a favourite of her classmates, and anyone who has interacted with her in the hospital here sings her praises. She is an amazing woman, and if I can be HALF the woman that she is, I will be successful in any endeavor I choose to embark on.
See, that’s the thing. I know Mother’s Day is supposed to be a day of honour for your mom, but I honour her EVERY day. She is the bravest, most selfless woman I know. When my sister & I were kids and it was time for us to go into the school system, things were less than ideal. Instead of saying, “Well, that’s just the way it is. Good luck, kids!!” my mom chose to home school us. She wasn’t a teacher. She was a hairdresser. She stayed up late at night learning the things she had to teach us the next day. She fostered imagination in us, and taught us how to marvel at things around us. She taught us to ask questions, and to never be afraid to try something new. She sacrificed so much for us, so that we would have a great education, and so we could be well-rounded and experience things that kids in public school didn’t get a chance to. We traveled. We read voraciously. We laughed until our stomachs hurt, and grew together as a family. She taught us respect. She taught us to love Jesus, and to love each other. She taught me how to cook like an army was coming for dinner, which is a skill set that my husband will be eternally grateful for.
I also know that technically Mother’s Day is not about my dad, but he picked my mom, even when she was tossing cigarette butts at him in the bar and he threatened to break her arms if she didn’t stop. They were perfect for each other from day one, and they’ve taught me that love is a choice. You fall in love, but then you choose each other every. single. day. They taught me that some things are worth fighting for, and that the right love is worth waiting for. I’ve married an amazing man, because my dad showed me how to respect myself, and my mom showed me how to honour my husband.
I have the two most amazing parents in the world, and my dad has the two most amazing parents in the world, and one day, I hope my kids will say the same about Graham & I. It’s generational. They have passed on so many amazing traits and lessons that I’ve been set up for success from day one.
So Happy Mother’s Day, mom. Every time someone tells me that I’m turning into you I smile and say thank you, because that is the biggest compliment they could give me. You are an incredible woman and I am SO BLESSED to have you in my life. You have shown me over and over what it means to be a mother, and are the perfect example of what motherhood is. You’ve lived it and walked it every day of my life, even when you were scared, even when you thought you were failing. I look up to you, and I am so thankful that my kids get to have a relationship with you too. You are such a huge part of who I am- thank you for believing in my dreams even when no one else did, and for pushing me to be better. Thank you for beating me with a pencil when I couldn’t focus on numbers, for cheering me on, and for helping me become an instigator. I love you so much, and didn’t even realize how much you loved me until I loved my two daughters.
This post wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t give a shout out to another amazing mom in my life- my mother in law, Barb. She’s raised the man of my dreams (sorry Derek- it’s Graham this time…) and I’m not sure how she brought up those three hellions without becoming an alcoholic. Barb- thank you. You’ve welcomed me into your family with open arms, and much less trepidation than a normal family would have. I am so blessed to have a mother in law that is fun to be around, who loves my kids beyond measure, who accepts me and makes me feel at home. You are so supportive of us, even when we’re flying headlong into another adventure. You’ve always been there, working tirelessly in the background, and I want you to know that your hard work has paid off. You have raised such an amazing man in Graham, and he is an incredible father because of you & Jim. I love you!!
So, if you’re still with me after that novel- go hug your mom. Hold her like it’s the last time you’ll get to, and make sure she knows how much you appreciate all the sacrifices she’s made for you. Heck, hug a mom on the street, and tell her she looks beautiful because she needs to hear it. Help her with her groceries. Buy her flowers. She’s changing the world, one tiny human at a time, and none of us would be who we are without our moms.
Happy mother’s day!!