In honor of International Women’s Day, it seems best that I write about one of the women in my life – my mother.
We tease, in that self-deprecating way, that perhaps all of my bad habits, or at the very least, the things I wish I could change about myself [oh hello, oval-shaped and astigmatism-filled eyes…] come from her. We do have some of the same foibles. And, we react strongly/viscerally/emotionally to things. But, I got more than just my brown eyes, my love of chocolate, and the tendency to think that “if I could just run things for a minute, everyone would be happier” from my mom. She’s taught me some pretty important life lessons, and I was reminded of one this week.
I’m trying to send a birthday package to the UK – it’s one of my dearest friend’s 30th birthday next week. I would be there if I could, but as I can not, I will send the things that will best fill my shoes (a book, some candy, a small piece of sass [it’s a girl thing], and a birthday card – because it’s not a birthday without a card). In an effort to make this all go smoothly, I was coordinating The Shipping of the Package yesterday with said friend. She made it clear that the card alone was highly anticipated, as evidently, I write a good inside-of-card note.
She ALSO noted that clearly, this was a skill I had inherited from my mother.
She was here last February on an American holiday, and got the chance to meet my mother. Who wrote her a Valentine’s Day card. I gather it was something to the effect of knowing how much this particular friendship had sustained and nourished my life, and how grateful my mom was, to know that I had that in my life. And a year on, it’s a note that she still cherishes.
Thinking on what F had said in her email, I realized this is a gift my mother gives – she makes people feel special. Valued.
She used to write us little notes and put them in our lunch boxes when we were kids. Now that I’m older and pack my own lunch, it’s an email or a text (because really, my mom is just that hip). But, regardless of format, it’s the fact that she listens, and takes the time to reach out. Maybe for encouragement. Maybe for cheer. Maybe just because.
It is a tremendous compliment if I’ve gotten the knack of that particular skill.