Five lessons I have learned from my mama.

It’s Mother’s Day, y’all!  In the spirit of today, I’ve decided to dedicate this post to my mama.  In no particular order, here are five things that my mama has taught me.

1. If you can swim, you swim.  My mama has a penchant for finding swimable mountain lakes and rivers.  From the time I was little, if the water was sparkling (also known as sparkle time, also known as mid afternoon), then you go in the water.  I have never regretted a sparkle time swim, and it helps me to branch out of my very well-planned everyday life and be a little spontaneous.

2. It helps to sing out the blues.  Whenever we’re feeling a little down, my mama finds music to lift us up or make us laugh. She even made up a song that we sing whenever we get the blues.  Singing it out like an old time jazz singer at the top of your lungs takes some of the tension off, and it opens everyone up to a transparent conversation about how we can help one another.

3. Always keep learning.  As kids, my mom would do “school” with us during the summer.  We would take field trips, do interactive science projects, and learn how to open up in a creative way.  She taught me how to read music, how to count in Spanish, and how to memorize drab lists.  Now my mama will teach me new art journal techniques whenever we paint together, as well as how to prepare my garden for planting.  Mainly, she reminds me to challenge myself in realistic, fun ways.

4. Be brave, in big situations and small.  When I was learning how to drive, my mom would take me to the top of a hill near our house that she deemed “Halloween Hill.”  She new the steepness freaked me out, and she would sit with me as a scream-laughed and drove our bright blue Ford Aerostar down the hill.  She also sat by me in the fourth grade as I calmly (and shakily) explained to a bully’s parent that I would not spend time with her daughter at school, writing “Super Lara” on the cape of a plastic superhero happy meal toy.   She constantly reminds me that there is no other way but to push through the fear and to be brave.

5. Love never fails.  My mama didn’t know that she would have two mentally ill daughters, or that she would become a full-time caregiver for my sister.  But she loves unconditionally.  She is brave and she is open to learning.  She is transparent and she still finds a way to be a little spontaneous whenever she can.  She shows me daily that love never fails, and that that alone will get us through.

I love my mama.


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