As another Mother’s Day passes, I am once again left reflecting on the things that make my mother unique, the things that make me want to be just like her. I am getting to the age where people ask me if I plan to have children. As of now, the answer is no, but if I ever did, I know who I would model myself after.

In an age where everything is captured on camera, I find it interesting to look through my family’s photo albums to see what my parents thought were photo-worthy moments.

There is a picture I have of me and my best friend. We are about six years old and are kneeling next to a bowl filled with daisies, with the biggest smiles on our faces. I remember that day. We decided to make daisy soup, so we filled a bowl with water and plucked the heads off half the daisies in my mother’s garden. Daisies are her favourite flower. I remember her laughing and grabbing the camera to take the photo.

There are other pictures like this. In another one, my sister and I are wearing our nice dresses while playing in the mud. My mother could always see beyond the mess. She cared more about us having fun than us staying clean.

In another photo, my sister and I are smiling next to a homemade cake covered in tons of icing, coloured sprinkles, fuzzy peach rings and chocolates. My Mom would make cakes with us for any occasion, even our stuffed animals’ birthdays. We would pile on as much candy as we could fit, and that was always the best part.

I still love baking, and decorating continues to be my favourite part.

Beauty lives inside happiness

Looking through the photos, the one thing they all have in common is the look of happiness. My parents chose to capture images of happiness, rather than beauty, because they understand that beauty lives inside happiness.

My parents chose to capture images of happiness, rather than beauty, because they understand that beauty lives inside happiness.

I have memories of a Mother’s Day when my sister and I were small, serving my Mom breakfast in bed on a tray with a glass of beer and a bowl of cereal we had dropped on the floor and swept back up—all at seven in the morning.

Whenever my sister and I would ask my Mom what kind of gift she wanted, she would always say (and still does), “Hugs and kisses.” I knew she would be genuinely content with just that.

As a child, I would always tell my Mom what gift she was getting for her birthday or Mother’s Day. As soon as I found out what my Dad and my sister had planned, I would run to tell her. I was so excited, and I wanted her to be excited, too. I have become a bit better at keeping gifts a secret, but I still run to her with good news, knowing she will share my excitement.

When I was at the age that I believed I could do anything, my career choices changed every day. From musician to veterinarian, my mother supported each one and listened to me talk for hours about why I would be perfect for each job.

She was supportive, years later, when my life plan consisted of becoming a rapper. I remember calling her while I was in Los Angeles, waiting to perform an extremely vulgar rap song I had written, and she commented on the writing quality.

That is my mother, an expert at finding the good anywhere and in anything. She continued to be an inspiration when, at age 50, she went to college full-time while having a job and a family. She is still my biggest role model, personally and professionally, as I followed in her footsteps not only in the same college program but also in the same career.

The mother I want to be

My mother loves gardens and going to the lake to watch turtles swim. She loves the Sharknado movies, even though my Dad is the only person willing to watch them with her.

My mother is a very special person. She continues to look at everything I do with the same pride she had when I came home with my first painting from kindergarten. She still tastes my food with the same excitement she had when walking into the imaginary restaurant I opened as a child: the one where everything on the menu was made out of a combination of sand and mud, and then served on a leaf, occasionally with a garnish of a flower from her garden.

I was lucky to have a great childhood. I am filled with memories of magical moments that were created just for me. My Mom showed me how to make wishes on everything. She always wished for birthday cake. She loves daisies, but has always been happy receiving a bundle of dandelions. If I ever do become a mother, this is the kind of mother I would want to be.

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image 1 Pixabay 2 Rebecca Shea 3 Pixabay