As I ring in the Holiday Season and the denouement of a long-fraught finals week with family (woe is me), I can't help but reflect upon the influences laid upon me by none other than my parents.
Sure, the phrases, "Amanda, calm down!" and "You know, you won't be able to eat like this your whole life..." have been thrown around here and there, maybe on more than several occasions..., but all in all it's been a very pleasant and seamless transition back into familial living. :) Speaking of such enchanting word play, I now turn to the feature of tonight's blog, the author of these sweet nothings herself: my mommy.
Jokes aside, life hasn't been a cake walk for my mom. For one thing, she has a relentless train of eccentricity for a daughter (ok, maybe not ALL jokes aside), and she's the only girl in a family with two older brothers. If the fruits of her labor are any indication (and I, as one of them, like to think they are), it's pretty clear that my mom mastered courage, resolve, and grit in the face of oddity and uprising almost immediately from the get-go.
Picture this: I'm riding along in my automobile, my baby beside me at the wheel, I stole a kiss at the turn of a mile, my curiosity running wild (duh duh duh duh duh duh duh duh duh)! Just kidding...ALL RIGHTS RESERVED TO CHUCK BERRY, "NO PARTICULAR PLACE TO GO," Ⓒ1964. :)
Okay, but seriously, I was driving along in my automobile, my mommy beside me at the while, I popped a tire at the turn of a mile, my trepidation running wild (duh duh duh duh duh duh duh duh duh).
Turns out I did have a particular place to go: The Missouri Botanical Gardens, with my mom...and my 80-something grandparents in town for the week. Having never chauffeured the lovely couple before, I realize in hindsight that a split tire probably wasn't the best first driving experience I could have bestowed upon them. Whoopsies.
Regardless, my mom took control of the wheel, so to speak, and offered to call AAA and wait in the parking lot of the Botanical Gardens while my grandparents and I enjoyed ourselves inside. What a dynamite gal indeed.
As soon as we entered the gardens, my grandpa made a point of telling me that my mom is one great woman, and he wished there were more women like her, in his words. As sexist as this admittedly seems on the surface, the core of his sentiment is nothing short of heartfelt and true!
My mom has always been a strong, passionate, intelligent, attentive, engaging, beautiful, empathetic, loving role model, and as much as I may annoy her at times, I hope she knows, deep down, that she and my dad are my absolute greatest inspirations in life, not just because they are my parents, but because they are integrity-driven individuals in a world seemingly predicated on conceit and avarice, at least at times. My mom in particular is the most unwaveringly spirited, affectionate, altruistic person I know, and I can do nothing more than to hope I will someday embody those qualities to half the extent she does.
"There's nothing like a mother's love. She's not a ghost or fleeting dove. Regardless of how deep my burn, she heals me up and helps me learn. Because of her, I'm empowered to soar, to rise above and strive for more. I couldn't ask for a kinder soul, to care for me and make me whole. Your expectations, I may not always meet. My approach to life may resemble retreat. But despite the way you viscerally feel, I want you to remember that our love is real. I will forever respect and admire you truly, especially when tides turn and life seems unruly. No matter who or what comes into my sphere, you will always be my role model, and I will allay all of your fears."
This poem I wrote at a delicate time, but the words still ring true and unite in sweet rhyme. After many a month of heightened progress, I promise you honor, and to this I attest.
With love and laughs and all of my best,
P.S. That IS INDEED my adorable dog SOPHIE (i.e. my mom's second and just-as-grateful daughter) in the third picture. :)
Top: Urban Outfitters (old). Skirt: Urban Outfitters (old). Shoes: Dillard's (old). Flower appliqué: Self-made via Dierberg's Florist. ;)
All photos courtesy of my mom (besides the top shameless selfie). :)