Because I’m in Sydney to celebrate her BIRTHDAY… I do believe there is a law that I have to refer to her as my “Mum.”
It has been absolutely wonderful having my parents here the last few days to share in our family’s incredible journey down under and we’re excited that we still have a few more days to go!
And what a special treat that we’re celebrating my mum’s birthday all together TODAY! (Well, we’re celebrating today because Sydney is in the future, but she’s not actually another year older (29 of course) until tomorrow.)
In honor of this… here are…
The Top 10 Things I’ve Learned From My Mum.
10. Travel. And often.
My mum caught the travel bug for my grandparents who were avid travelers. But my parents took it to a whole new level when they retired and took a few years to travel the world. And in case you were wondering if they had t-shirts made for each of their destinations… of course they did.
And my mum has always encouraged my yearning to see the world. Whether it was taking me cross-country when I was 2, to Paris when I was 12 or being a part of a huge family excursion to Morocco as a teenage… I too have been bitten by the travel bug.
9. The necessity of uttering, “Let me speak to your manager.”
“Let me speak to your manager,” might have been one of my first complete sentences.
Whether dealing with a restaurant, hotel, or retailer, if something is not to my mum’s satisfaction, she wants it fixed and she wants it fixed now. But she knows that usually the first person you speak with in a customer service situation does not have the power to actually service the customer, and so, “let me speak to the manager,” is uttered early and often.
It’s not that she likes to complain. (I mean, maybe she likes the perks that come with the complaint (a free lobster dinner for 12 people, a free week’s stay at a hotel in Jamaica for the extended family ) But the complaints are usually warranted and the trouble isn’t always worth the reward.
- The lobster dinner was compensation for mum biting into a piece of glass in her salad while at a big family dinner.
- The hotel stay was after we were held hostage at a rest stop on our way to the airport after our initial stay in Jamaica. (a story for another time)
Please note: Manager can also be replaced with supervisor. Especially when dealing with costumer service via the telephone.
8. If you love something, buy it. And if it’s on sale, buy two.
My mum has the buying gene. She loves to go shopping. A shopaholic if you will. My grandpa, her father, had the gene and I… don’t. I don’t like buying anything. I like having bought something… I like completing the task in order to check something off of my to-do list. But I hate, absolutely HATE shopping for clothing or, really, anything for that matter. But I learned that if you do find something you like, whether it’s a t-shirt or an ingredient you don’t see too often, stock up. You never know when or if you’ll see it again. And you’ll wish you had a backup.
7. If you’ve got it… flaunt it!
While Coco Chanel said “before leaving the house, a lady should look in the mirror and remove one accessory,” My mum is more of a “If you got it… flaunt it” kind of lady. This is one that I personally need to work on. I’m not a great flaunter. I’m more of a stand-backer and silent judger. But I’d like to be a flaunter. We’re always learning, right?
6. It’s ALWAYS better to have leftovers than not enough food.
My mom is an incredibly chef.
I know many people will say… oh my mom is such a good cook. She makes a great… pot roast or lasagna or blueberry muffin… but my mom makes a great EVERYTHING. Ev-er-y-thing!
For anyone who has had the privilege of experiencing her cooking, you know I’m not exaggerating. Unfortunately, math has never been her strong-suit. So she will usually add an extra zero to the amount of people she is cooking for. So, let’s say she is cooking for 10 people, she will make enough food for 100.
But there is a great truth to your guests never leaving hungry. I’ve learned that if you are inviting people over, you feed them. You feed them something. And if you run out of a dish, some people might think they made just enough. For us, unless there are leftovers, there wasn’t enough. And then of course if there are too many leftovers, we think that people didn’t enjoy the dish. We’re a neurotic bunch.
5. Soup cures everything.
And while all of my mum’s food warms my heart, there is always something special about soup. She is the founding member of “The Soup Group.” Her soup is always the best and most flavorful, but in a pinch, if I need to make my own or buy some, it always reminds me of her. Soup cures a cold, brings down a fever, mends a broken heart, fills you up when you’re hungry, comforts you when you’re sad. It does it all.
4. Don’t be afraid to be silly.
Now that I’m a mum, I am realizing just how important this life lesson is. A large majority of my day is spent dancing with The Moo, making funny faces or making up crazy characters to tell a story. I HAVE to let myself be silly or I’d have a very bored daughter.
Whether it was encouraging me to spray my dad with water in the house or realizing that you’re never too old to play dress-up, my mom has always been an advocate for silly.
3. There’s nothing wrong with using the Men’s Room.
If there’s a long line for the Ladies Room… and a short one for the Men’s Room… Use the Men’s Room.
And if need be, carry a Sharpie and add a “Wo” in front of “Men’s” and no one will be the wiser. (We only did this once)
2. It’s ok to cry…and cry… and cry…
We have a joke in our family that my mom will cry when Hellman’s mayonnaise goes on sale.
Meaning… she’ll cry at everything. She cries at happy movies, sad movies, when she’s going to miss someone, when she sees someone she missed. Happy tears, sad tears… she lets them flow. And she’s taught me that it’s ok to let your emotions show. It doesn’t make you a weak person. Emotions make you human.
1. Family comes first.
My mom has instilled in me a great sense of family. She knows the importance of connecting to our extended family, keeping family traditions alive and being together often. It is truly so special seeing how she is already passing this along to Little Moo who adores her to the moon and the stars and back again.
Here’s to celebrating a truly special mum and grandmum on her special day.
I love you!
(to the moon and the stars and back again)
More to come,