We heart moms.
They have made us who we are whether by DNA or just plain motherly influence. Our mothers are the most beautiful, adventurous, courageous and loving people we know who deserve a day in the spotlight. With that, an ode to our individual moms in praise of what they have taught us.
My mom has always been a champion and cheerleader of everything I have done and makes even the smallest things I do seem incredible. That’s what moms do, right, but from her enthusiasm I have learned that anything, when looked at in the right light, can be interesting and worthy of celebrating. I am also indebted to her for the countless pieces of knitwear I now own (thanks to her knitting business) and for her bizarre sense of humor that makes me look at life way less seriously (but also frequently gets me in trouble laughing at all the wrong moments). Love you mom.
At my parents’ house, in our kitchen, my mother painted “Life is uncertain, celebrate often” on one of the walls. When I go home and sit at my regular place at the kitchen table, I always look at that quote. She has instilled in me the mindset that there is cause for celebration in the everyday, you just have to be open to finding it.
It’s very hard for me to sum up my mother’s wisdom in a sentence or two, or impart the biggest life lesson I’ve received from her. “Love ’em and launch ’em” is one adage that comes to mind. But those are just words and, frankly, I don’t think words can summarize a mother’s role in shaping her child’s life. It’s easier for me to attach a sound to this request: the click of her shoes on the kitchen floor when she entered the house from the garage. I don’t know about my sisters or my brother, but for me it was a sound that defined my childhood, of feeling secure in that she made it home safely and was available to play, talk, download, kick back. It’s not that she was ever unavailable, because she always is and was. Many of my memories involve her at the office, and that has really shaped me: her ability to juggle work and family. To “have it all,” as they say. She’s a lawyer who (more often than not) loves her job. Her enjoyment of her career imparted to me the importance of having a life outside of the home and of valuing one’s work. The click of her shoes was a message that she was, indeed, home and present as a mother. But also a powerful indicator that she wasn’t just our mother, she was a woman who walked through the world wearing many shoes – and each pair fit for every occasion.
By putting English Roses on the kitchen table and hanging oil paintings on the walls, my mom taught me to surround myself with beautiful things simply because they’re beautiful. By having not one, but three, successful careers (as a journalist, makeup artist, then oil portrait artist), she taught me that nothing is off limits if you decide to make it yours. Most usefully, my mom taught me that good manners – particularly a hand-written thank you note – will get you far and that a cup of tea can help cure most of life’s ills.
My mum likes to say I’m my own creation, maybe it’s the English way to not take credit for anything. But what I do know for sure, is that her love of language, endless curiosity and passion for the intrigue of a great story have made their mark and are now my favorite things about myself (funny how that works). And, when she gives her, “have the courage of your convictions” advice to my every dilemma I always feel blessed to have her as my mother.
Anyone who knows my mother Marlene will tell you she is one of the most positive people around. In being so, her greatest lesson to me has been that life is long, and the little things add up to the sum of living lovingly. Having embodied that, I aspire to be more like her every day. Oh, and she’s always had hella style. This was the late 60s in her signature Cathy Hardwick knits and Bandolino sandals.
I attribute some of my best qualities to my mom – empathy and kindness to name two. My mom, Marcia Ellis, also taught me to love reading and writing. She was my first and biggest fan – and, to this day, is the best editor that I have ever worked with.
My Italian mother has always taught me that food may not be love, but it’s more than alright to love food. To love food and the experience of how it is prepared is an extension of where we are from. What we put into our bodies reflects and effects how we live.
My mother is totally down to earth and lives completely in the present. She doesn’t stress about things to come or reminisce too much about those past. She’s not constantly looking for the next greatest thing but is happy with her job and satisfied with life. I think that makes life both easier and more enjoyable and I aspire to be more like that. She knows her style and taught me that when you find a piece of clothing you love, you should buy two in every color.
My mom: Tiny, career-oriented, well-dressed. Loves sci-fi and serial crime shows, crochets, learned how to play golf. Is puzzlingly ageless. Moms lead mostly by example, and from mine I learned that there are no “types” of women – no girly ones, versus alpha females, versus tomboys, versus artistes. Each one of us can encompass worlds.
My mother taught me the importance of grace, in all situations but particularly when faced with adversity. She regularly champions political causes that are close to her heart, and she has become known for facing her challengers with intelligence, humility, and a quiet strength. She is the epitome of class, and I couldn’t hope for a better role model.
Gratitude. My mom always taught me the importance of just being grateful for life, for health, for the simple moments of quiet. She even made me a gratitude journal (by hand) a few years ago. I try to jot down what I’m grateful for. It sure turns a rough day into a great one. Thanks Mom!
Cherie Sanders Raznick taught me how to rock a closet from the classic dress to the shoes to the bag and foundations. My tall, dark and exotic mother, an L.A. designer, remains the stylish woman I have known. I’m grateful to the exposure I received on shopping and lunch trips to I. Magnin and Saks and how she let my eye fly, selecting my own numbers starting at age five, and eventually, assisting as her own personal sales person on the couture floor. We who understand fashion understand it is art. Thanks Mom.
Mama J taught me from a young age to “enjoy the moments.” A lot of my “self ” is actually reflected through my name, which my Mom has embraced through her encouraging statements about flight. She always says, “it’s time for Kestrel to spread her wings and fly again.” Constantly well aware of my state of mind, my Mom is so very perceptive of my upcoming intentions. I continue to remind myself to “enjoy the moments” amidst my often chaotic migrations, as that’s the grounded, motherly mantra that will guide my flight patterns and idle instances, forever.
I may have inherited my propensity to worry about absolutely everything from my mother, but I also got from her a caretaking instinct that I believe is one of my best qualities. Along with her own mother, my mom is one of the kindest, most compassionate people I have ever known. Nothing in the world is more important to her than the happiness and well-being of the people around her, and her optimism even in the hardest moments is so inspiring. My mother reminds me to take a good look at all of the things that are going right in my life, and be grateful.
My mother (and father) always told me I shouldn’t sit and do nothing while waiting for inspiration. It’s better to continue working or get out and explore something. The inspiration will eventually come. It has always worked for me and I have nearly never seen my mother doing nothing. She is over 75, dances tango and is still working as a tailor with her own little clothing shop.
My mum has never been the most stylish dresser, or the best cook; she is also quite a nervous person. Unwittingly, she taught me to have fun with clothes, enjoy food, and most importantly to chill out, and not be as uptight as her. She also taught me to treat everyone the same, to appreciate what you’ve got – she grew up during World War II – and to be wary of synthetic fibres and white bread. To this day, I shy away from polyester and gravitate towards wholemeal loaves.
One important message my mom taught me is you should live life by doing what you love. I couldn’t decide what to major in when choosing a college. She artfully guided me by saying this to me and I couldn’t be happier. Twenty years ago that was pretty good advice just like it is today. You can find posters and cards everywhere with this message now. Thanks mom! You’re so smart.