03 November 2008

"All that I am or hope to be I owe to my angel mother." -Abraham Lincoln

In New Zealand, yesterday was my Mom's birthday. In America, today is my mom's birthday. That is, my mom's birthday is November 3. She turned a certain age, which she probably wouldn't mind me sharing, but I don't won't risk it. I mean, if she really wants she can leave a comment about how old she is. Of course, that's assuming she knows how old she is; often she does not know.

As I get older I realize more and more how much my mom has influenced who I am now. It seems obvious; she's my mother, so of course she has influenced me more than any body else in my life. But I am constantly realizing what a profound influence she has had on making me who I am.

Truth be told, I am a lot like my mom- much more like her than I am like my father. This is not only in appearance, but also in our natures. I am constantly recognizing more characteristics or tendencies that I have that come straight from my mother. To name a few
  • A love of the fine arts. As a kid I went to a few operas, the art museum, ballets and numerous other sorts of events. My mom really fostered a love of fine arts, and even though I'm not particularly skilled in any of those categories, I still have a great appreciation for them.
  • A love of learning. My mom started teaching me to read (like phonics, not just memorization) when I was about four. As I grew up she always took opportunities to go to cultural events, museums and other places so that I could learn all about life. It was important to her that we kids recognized that the world was made up of more than just ourselves. She was especially keen on us learning about other people and cultures.
  • A love of people. My mom can talk to anybody and always find something to talk about. That is because she is interested in people and recognizes that everyone has something to offer.
  • A love of food and cooking. Um, enough said.
Then there are a gazillion ways that I wish I was like my mom and should try harder to emulate her.
  • My mom always seems to know how she can serve people, and she looks for ways that she can serve.
  • My mom has an amazing ability to recognize talents in other people. Talents you never would have thought of. I have met a few other people with this same ability, and they always remind me of my mother.
  • My mom is a creator. In Elder Uchtdorf's talk given during the Relief Society session of the most recent General Conference, he spoke about how, as women, we need to be actively creating. As he spoke, I couldn't help but think about my mom and her ability to make things beautiful, to create nice and functional things. As I've been learning more "creating" skills in here in New Zealand (raranga, crocheting, knitting), I have been immensely pleased with myself knowing that not only am I learning new, valuable skills, but I am becoming more like my mom.
  • My mom is an amazing teacher. She is engaging, and she is really good at teaching things in different ways so that a large group with different types of learners is able to understand the principles being taught.
All in all, my mom is awesome. I look forward to becoming more like her (which I'm sure I will) as I grow older.

I love you, Mom. Happy Birthday!

And just for kicks and giggles, here is a photo of my folks from my wedding day. Incidentally, it is the ONLY photo I have of them on my laptop. Lots more on my computer in Utah. (If either parent objects of this photo, feel free to send me another as a replacement.)


Dusty and Amy said...

That is really sweet! Happy Birthday to your mommy!

Alice said...

What a wonderful letter for my birthday! I am 62 years old today. Or yesterday to you.
Love Mom

Inkpot said...

A beautiful tribute to your mother. Happy Birthday Alice.