Exactly 23 years ago today my amazing mother was born. (Yes, she had me at the tender age of negative-2 — don’t judge.)
Over the past few days I’ve been helping my mom work on the website for J and J Fish Farm Stay, my parents’ foray into the up and coming new world of agrotourism (read: sustainability-minded yuppies spending their precious few vacation days learning about working farms instead of snorkeling in Maui). It’s been great. In addition to giving me a chance to reconnect with latent childhood memories during the course of hours spent photographing goats and yelling questions over to my father in the next room about the best season for hydroponics and whether or not he’s willing to teach guests how to fly fish — in case you’re wondering, the answer is yes, and it’ll cost you — this impromptu mini-web design workshop has also been a great opportunity for me to bond with my mother.
And by “bond with my mother” I mean “impress her with just how much time goes into making a site look presentable and give her a greater appreciation for my blog.”
I put a lot of work into molding my blog. I take my Third Goal responsibilities of being a Peace Corps volunteer seriously, I approach blogging like a job, and I spend an embarrassingly large amount of time writing and editing and re-reading and revising. For some perspective, I have 51 draft posts currently in the queue and some of them are completely written and just waiting for a week when I can’t think of any new blog ideas.
But as I sat at the dining room table in my parents’ house teaching my mom how to add borders to photos and edit links to child pages, I started to think about all of the different things that she’s taught me. I try to be more empathetic. My mom has empathy streaming out of her pores. I want to listen more and talk less. My mother is the consummate listener, completely selfless and effortlessly engaging and infinitely likable. I want to experience the love that grows from the continual commitment and dedication of a long-term partnership through hardships and triumphs. My mom has been married for 28 years and my parents are so adorable together it’s nauseating.
I want to be a better person. My mom is one of the best people I know.
And as we sat together in the house where I grew up, at the table where many of these lessons both directly and indirectly have taken place, I realized that I’m beginning to understand more fully just how much work my mother has put into molding me.
Happy birthday, Mom.