Happy Mother's Day!
This day is always a bittersweet day for me. It is sweet because I get to celebrate with my daughter who this year has come out of the other side of the storm stronger and wiser, and more stable than she ever has been before. I couldn't receive a better gift than to see her whole and thriving. It is bitter, too, because I don't get to celebrate with my own mother. She passed away in 2009, but she is with me every single day because there is nothing I do that she doesn't inhabit. So, today's post is dedicated to my mom, Eva, and everything she was that shaped me into the woman, the mother, and the educator I am today.
My mom was one of the most creative people I have ever known. There were few things in life that she couldn't do well. She was a good cook, a fabulous dresser, a painter, able to draw and write well. What she was best at was taking inventory of what resources she had, then making amazing things from them. She never saw things as they were or for what was lacking. She took what she had in front of her into account, then went to work. No matter what her resources were, the end product she presented to you was always ASTOUNDING. People would look at the things she would put together and scratch their heads at HOW she thought of what she did or HOW she was able to pull the thing off. She always exceeded everyone's expectations no matter if she was making a casserole, washing a stain out of a garment or painting a rainbow mural on her little girl's wall just because she was asked to.
Mom was a great communicator, preferred going deep to small talk, loved intimate moments like winter nights in front of the tv wrapped in blankets chatting about life. She was ridiculously silly and playful. She was generous and the best gift giver I have ever known. She loved the holidays and would often kill herself to make them breathtaking to her family.
She was a beautiful woman who never left her house without doing her hair and makeup, not even the day I went into labor with my own daughter. Yes, I had to sit there and wait while Mom finished her face before she would take me to the hospital.
She taught me so many things, and I can't do anything without seeing the inheritance she left me. I see her hand in my handwriting. I hear her voice when I speak. I look in the mirror and see her gorgeous blue eyes often contrasted by the same red lipstick she wore. I cook with the same ingenuity and fearlessness that she did, making things up as I go more often than not. I laugh, cut up and joke with the same joviality she exuded. I pay attention to people I love and can find the simplest things to give them they would have never thought to get themselves. She would do that. Give gifts just because she could.
She was an amazing teacher, tough critic, and trusted advisor. She took pride in everything she did and had and on more than one occasion I saw her slave over the smallest things because they mattered TO HER. She once scrubbed a hallway floor with a toothbrush because she knew it could look better, whiter, and so she did.
I see her the most when I do anything creative. She is often my muse and pushes me to see the thing I am creating before it even exists. She taught me that mistakes aren't mistakes, rather opportunities to dig deeper into my creativity to find away to incorporate the mistake so that it looks like it was done on purpose. Now, when I mess up on things, I take the cover up as a challenge to see just how well I can hide it.
She taught me that presentation matters. Details matter. So now, whatever you see me do, I have gone through version after version tweaking and re-tweaking before it is ever released. Ironically enough, I am rarely ever completely satisfied, and yet, just like other people would do with Mom's creations, what is imperfect to me is amazing to someone else. This isn't because I am so talented, but because Mom taught me so well.
All of these things make me the teacher, the presenter, the desktop publisher, the document creator, and the colleague I am. If I have it, know it or am able to do it, it is yours, just like Eva taught me. I take as much pride in an activity sheet I create as she would have a painting she painted, and I will always look for how to make it even better.
I am so grateful that Eva Lee was my mother. I miss her so. The photo you see in this post today is my most favorite of all the ones she and I took together. You see, she was teaching me HOW she colored. I get to enjoy a photo of my mom teaching me. This photo captures that magic in action. It is so precious to me. I am so thankful it has been digitized forever.
Happy Mother's Day to all of you whether you are a mother, have an amazing mother or don't. I hope no matter what your circumstances are, you have had or will be the type of parent, mentor, teacher or friend my other was to me, and I pray you will have someone like that in your life to help shape you. I hope I make her proud. I hope I honor her legacy. I hope in some way this blog is a tribute to her.
With tears in my eyes, I close this post today with this:
I love you, Mom. Thank you for everything.
Happy Mother's Day and...
Happy Coaching, friends!
(n.) A special place where we remember that students are humans that need to feel loved and important, where their achievements are celebrated every day and where we learn Spanish along the way!
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