In my world filled with ups and downs, I need love AND my daughter. Last night I was surprised with THE best gift I’ve ever received. A speech.
My daughter, a 14 year old ninth grader in high school, was given an assignment in her advanced English class.
Prepare a 3-5 minute speech about ANYTHING or ANYONE. It can be real or made up. No boundaries, open to interpretation.
My daughter shared with me the assignment that she was given and we discussed some options. Originally, she talked about wanting to speak about Abraham Lincoln. She also mentioned sharing some of her stories that she has previously written. A day or two later when I asked what she had decided on, I was told it was a surprise. “Mom, is it okay if I wait to share it with you when I am done?” I replied with a hearty, “Of course it is! If you need anything, though, let me know.”
Last night she shared with me her speech and I humbly share it with you.
We Got Each Other’s Backs
Hello and good morning. Today we are here to celebrate my mom’s birthday. Now, before we get into a big fight about whose mom is best, I want to tell you that that is not why I’m up here. In my opinion, though, my mom is the best. Why? Well, the three main reasons are that she’s fun, she helps people, and she is supportive.
The first one is easy. My mom is someone you’d probably call “cool”. But what does that even mean? To me, it means that my mom isn’t afraid to just have fun, to be herself and be happy. Sometimes, when we are in the car, taking a late drive home, we crank up the radio to some crazy 80’s music and scream out the lyrics, just to stay awake. And my mom knows all the lyrics. Or when my mom does her silly voice when she’s on the phone with my dad, and all three of us are laughing at the ridiculousness of it. Or even the dozens of versions of “Jingle Bells” my mom has created when she’s bored. For the life of me I have no idea how she comes with so many, but when she does, she isn’t afraid to sing it, loud and proud. Its times like these, mom, that are worth living for. The little, precious moments that make up your life. My mom teaches me to be myself and to be unique and have fun.
She teaches me so much. Small lessons that make me a better person. Like whenever I see some stranger with a cute haircut or adorable shoes, she always says I should go up and compliment them, and I almost unfailingly, though rather reluctantly, go and tell them. But I’m glad that I do. Because no matter how awkward it is, them always smile and say, “Oh, thank you!” and I know I made their day. “What if they were depressed and they were going to kill themselves, and you just saved their life by complimenting them?” my mom always says afterwards. And sure, this is probably overdramatic and not true, but what if? If everyone was always kind and always complimented strangers, the world would be more happy and peaceful, and fewer suicides would happen. My mom is a life and health coach and owns her own business, so she makes a living by helping people. She has constantly wanted to make others’ lives better, she just wasn’t sure how. Throughout her life, she has experimented with jobs and volunteering. Only a handful of them are: police department, JDRF, Goodwill, Cambridge Ambassador Program, and Habitat for Humanity. And now she has started Inspiring Radiance, a program that helps young women. Each day, I watch as my mom helps women with problems. She’s not a shrink; she’s a coach for your mind. And she has helped so many people. Especially me.
My mom is very supportive. She cares and loves me. And although we have our moments and fight, I love her to death. We talk about everything. Every day after school, the first thing she asks is, “How was your day?” Typically, I say how great art and English was, and I tell her about those couple of girls in gym who just don’t care, and how much that upsets me. And she not only listens, she tries to give me advice. And even though she may not be able to think of anything, and ends up saying, “Sorry, hon’, I don’t know what to tell you” I still appreciate the gesture. She also helps me with my classes. Too many times have I had to trudge downstairs to the living room where she’s working and confess that I just don’t get algebra. And we sit down together and talk and figure out what to do, and make a plan. Also, whenever I’m upset over a grade on a quiz or test, she always looks me in the eyes and asks me, “Did you do your absolute best?” And when I nod, she replies, “Then that’s all I can ask of you.” She doesn’t expect me to be perfect and “normal”. She wants me to be me.
My mom and I will always be together. We stuck together through two divorces and celebrated at a third marriage. (raises glass) Here’s to my mom. You will always be there for me. Whether it’s by singing in the car you named Leila, or serious talks about school or bullies or cute boys, you’ll always have my back. And I’ll have yours.
I share this with you because we do all need love. Today, I am grateful to have love, be love and receive love. How do you express your love for someone?