As a children's photographer in Wakefield, RI, I meet lots of moms and stepmoms who are doing a fabulous job raising some pretty fantastic humans. It's really easy to see how unique little people together with awesome parents make a great combination.
Today is mother's day, and I'd like to talk about my own mom today. I may be a little biased, but I think she's the best mom in the world. My mom gave birth to five kids, and while she worked outside the home until I was about two, she spent the rest of my childhood years being a stay at home mom devoted to raising her family. How she accomplished this task with such grace while there was an ever-increasing number of kids underfoot, I do not know, but she did. She is my hero.
My mom was (and still is) always teaching us things, even if we didn't realize she was doing it. She's taught me a lot of things over the years, but read on for what I think are the three most important things she ever taught us.
1. Be Kind
My mother is the kindest, gentlest, and most caring person I've ever met. I think it is some kind of superpower. She is constantly thinking of others first, and always advised us to treat others as we would want to be treated. This is such an important lesson, especially today, when so much communication is done digitally. It's so easy to dismiss people and be rude. It sometimes takes time and effort to be kind. But step back and think: would you want someone to treat you unkindly? Seeing someone else smile will put a smile on your face. It costs you nothing to be kind, so just do it.
2. Be yourself.
Let's be honest. I went through an awkward stage which lasted...well, it may still be happening. Seriously, though, I was a quirky kid (who sometimes had an unfortunate mullet). I read the encyclopedias and the dictionary for fun. I got teased a lot, and I really just wanted to be like everybody else. My mom, however, recognized my unique personality (and my brothers' as well) and encouraged us to be who we were. Sure, she may have used words like, "If everyone else jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge, would you do it, too?" But that was just one of her ways of telling us that who we were was fine. We didn't have to be just like everyone else. Today, I'm very happy with the quirky person I am.
3. Eat your vegetables.
Sure, this one may sound a little crazy to add to a list of greatest life lessons from your mom. Really, though, it's more than just "eating your vegetables". We were always served vegetables (many of them home grown in season, and learning how they grew was a whole lesson in itself) and expected to at least try them. It's true that Swiss Chard and mushrooms were on my "no" list as a kid, though I love them now. But eating, or at least trying, our vegetables set a few things in place. First, it taught me healthy eating habits that are still carried with me. But even more than that, it taught me not to be afraid to try new things. I might really like them.
What are the best lessons you've learned from your mom? Let me know in the comments. Happy Mother's Day!