grazie mille, mia madre
The Modcloth blog prompted me to get my “thanking cap on” in honor of the Thanksgiving holiday and think about who I’m thankful for. I have to say, whenever holiday season comes around it’s pretty hard to ignore the influence that my mom’s gleeful spirit has on myself and everyone she touches. I am gung-ho, full force in love with holidays in general, and there’s no doubt that I’ve inherited this from my mom through the buzzy magical feeling that she always created for us.
My family faces the same worries and difficulties that all families do – stress about money, our jobs, the “gotta-dos” – but she balances us out with a sense of child-like merriment that is infectious.
She teaches us to take things in stride and enjoy the moment, whether that moment calls for a barfing banshee in honor of Halloween
or a hula dancing competition at my grandfather’s Summer Dance.
The holidays never held the sense of stress and obligation that I hear others complaining about because my parents gave us a real sense of what’s important and what can wait. If stuff happens (or doesn’t happen) and life gets in the way, a note can be just as entertaining as any gift.
This Christmas IOU from my mom might be my all-time favorite:
Most of all, I am thankful for my mother’s incredible giving spirit and how she bolsters us all up. She is the first to invite outsiders to any event and make them family, and she’s there for her family in a superhuman way. She sacrifices sleep and her own sanity to keep us afloat: these days, ever since my grandma passed away, she drives four hours round-trip at least once a week to be with my grandpa. When I was in high school, it took the form of driving me to ballet classes after her long days of work and then staying up with me as long as it took for me to understand my math homework (numbers and me don’t mix).
My mom’s giving nature is also what gave me my love for fashion. When I was growing up, she would take me shopping and spend hours with me encouraging my strange adolescent style choices and patiently holding hangers of clothes for me. If I started to feel guilty or self-conscious she would stop me in my tracks and tell me “Doing this with you is what’s fun for me. My mother did the same thing for me and I didn’t understand until I had you. One day, you’ll get to do the same for someone else.” She gave me the confidence to make my own choices both in my style and my life.
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