Ten Things my Mother Taught Me

I got to grow up with a mother who taught me to believe in me.- author unknown

I know that everyone thinks their mother is the “best” mother in the world and that’s the way it should be.   And count me in as one of those many millions of people who consider their mom to be the best mom in the world.  My mom and I have an unusually close relationship that is the most important thing in the world to me.  I’m the late in life daughter that she always longed for.  And as her only child, we share a bond that few can understand.

Mom and me in 1985.  We were already holding hands!

My mom gave me the most beautiful and awe-inspiring childhood that anyone could ask for.  As a little girl, I went everywhere with her and was never left with a babysitter unless it was nana.

Mom, Nana and me.

Our days were always spent doing creative projects at home or exploring dusty antique shops for that one thing that we had to have for our home.  And I must admit, I inherited my love for shopping and beauty from my mom.  Once, when I was about three, I went with her to her manicure appointment and I asked the manicurist if the new colors were out for fall yet- I think everyone died laughing!

In San Francisco together. 1998.

Despite the fun and glamour, my mom has been my greatest teacher.  I could go on and on about all of the things she has taught me but there wouldn’t be room enough for them on this blog.  Here are ten of the most valuable things she has taught me.

1. Go out of your way to help someone who is hurting. - Growing up, my mom always instilled in me the value of reaching out to kids who weren’t considered ‘cool’ or popular in school.  She taught me to reach out to them even if it meant that other kids wouldn’t be accepting of it.  In the end, I learned that kindness was more important than popularity.

2. How to love.- There was so much love in our home when I was growing up and it was demonstrated in so many different ways.  I watched in awe as my mom nurtured everything from me to our gardens to our many rescue pets.  

3. Never give up.- There were so many times in school when something seemed so hard (hello Geometry and Algebra II!) that I just wanted to quit. But she wouldn’t let me because she knew I could do it.  To this day, I know that it’s not okay to give up on anything.

4. Grief isn’t easy but it will get easier in time.- My mom lost her dad when she was just 27 years old.  She always told me how difficult it was, over the years, to learn to live without him but I never really understood the depth of her pain.  In a sad twist of fate, my own dad died a few months before my 27th birthday.  She held me up through my grief and promised me that we would still have a future without the most important man in our life.

5. Look for beauty wherever you go.- My mom taught me to see beauty in the most unexpected places.  She has an incredible eye and we would always go on drives to look at old homes.  She would always point out the unexpected beauty in an old door or iron gate.

6. Pets will give you unconditional love.- While I was growing up, there was a steady stream of rescued cats and dogs coming to our house.  Whenever a stray cat would appear (don’t worry, it wasn’t that often!), she never hesitated to give them a home.  She literally went to the ends of the earth to care for our pets and once even nursed a sick Cockatiel back to health by placing a lamp, next to her cage (without the shade on), to warm her.

7. Take good care of your skin.- From an early age, my mom taught me how important it is to start a good skin care regimen early in life.  She taught me to wear sunscreen and moisturizer everyday.

8. Golf!- My mom learned to golf as a young girl and taught me everything she knew about the game.  In my early teens, I loved hitting balls with her at the range.  It’s something I love to this day!

9. You don’t have to spend a lot to have style.- Growing up, we shopped everywhere from Target to Gap to Old Navy.  My mom always had a knack for picking up chic basics and made them her own with accessories.

10. Invest in a statement piece you’ll have your whole life.- My mom always says ‘Buy the best and you’ll only cry once’. Over the years, she’s invested in a few signature pieces like her Vuitton Speedy bag and she’s still using them.

Happy Mother’s Day, mom! I love you!

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