I would not be who I am without the influence of some incredibly amazing women. My grandmother (I had only one), and my Aunt Sarah, my dad’s sister who raised him when he lost his parents as a young boy, left indelible impressions on me, but the person who molded me the most and who I admire beyond measure is my mom.
Regular readers of EverBeautiful.com will know that my mom is incredibly smart and funny. She’s a writer, a journalist, a many time New York Press Association Award winner and her words have often graced the pages of EverBeautiful.com to the delight of my readers. Humor is a powerful tool. People who do it well know how to tap into that universal something about the human experience and magnify it, sometimes to the point of absurdity, that enables us to laugh at ourselves. My mom does humor well. My mom does lots of things well.
When my friends were going through their adolescent sturm and drang with their moms and complaining about them at the school lunch table, I had nothing to say. One of my favorite times of each school day was the morning when my mom and I would put on our makeup at my bathroom’s sinks to start the day. Every morning was a learning experience for me. I’d tell her about a problem I was having and with humor, compassion and, often, by relating my experience to one of hers, she’d help me solve the problem. We bonded over skincare products and cosmetics.
I grew up during the fledgling days of the Women’s Movement. My mom went to hear Betty Friedan, a leader of the Movement, speak at a local venue. When she came home, I asked her what she had learned and she told me about equal opportunities for women and so much more. I was raised to believe that I could be anything I wanted, provided I had a proper education. I would be college-bound a few years after my mom’s attendance at Friedan’s speech and I said to her, “But you raised me to know this. It was never a question that just because I’m female, I couldn’t be equal to a man.” My mother was an early feminist before anyone had ever heard the term.
My mother and I had long conversations about parenting when I was pregnant with my first child. Several weeks before giving birth she told me that I was going to be a great mom. I told her I believed that too because I had learned from the best.
I have two utterly incredible daughters. One is an executive with a major cosmetics brand and the other is a TV producer and director. Both are kind, compassionate, funny, silly, reliable and brilliant – and those words only scratch the surface of their amazingness. I raised them, I think, I hope, with much of the same wisdom my mom gave me. I know, if the time comes, they will be wonderful mothers.
I’ve heard friends say, when they say or do something that they consider disagreeable, that they’re turning into their mothers. I can only hope for that to be true for me.
With Mother’s Day just around the corner, RoC Skincare has produced a video, an homage to moms everywhere. It’s heartwarming, inspiring, touching and simply, lovely. I’ve watched it several times and, as soon as I’m finished writing this, will share it with my mom and daughters to let them know how important they are to me. Take a look and share it with the women in your life who’ve helped shape you into the woman you are today.
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