My mom is a fantastically unique mom with so much awesome, I fear that one day, it might be the thing that gets her goat–she’s just so full of energy and greatness. Obviously, I’m really proud to be her daughter and I will cherish all the things she did for me as I grew-up (and the waaaaay many more things she does for me now that I NEVER imagined she’d need/want/have to do with me as an adult! LOL!). But there were 5 Brilliant Things My Mom Did for Me as a Teen that I think every single mom needs to do. No, really. Every single mom. I know I will be for my kids. No doubt about it, these are the 5 things that shaped me most when I was a teen.
5 Brilliant Things My Mom Did for Me as a Teen
- Bought me the biggest box of tampons on the planet. She never made me ask for things that might embarrass me. Never. Not a bra, not a pair of panties, not even a tampon. Before I even had a period, she had this gigantic box of 8 Million tampons. And showed me where it was very nonchalantly. So, I knew that when it happened, I wouldn’t have to be all like “um, mom? what now?” She always had me prepared, well before showtime.
- Let me experiment in a safe environment. Alcohol? Check. Cigarettes? Check. Sex? Check. Self-Expression? Check. Not like she encouraged me to try anything–but she didn’t judge, just said things like: If you’re going to do it, do it here, with this safety measure in place. And you know what? I was SO MUCH SAFER for her guidance and wasn’t interested in binging on the bad things later during college. This also taught me courage to tell my peers “no” because I didn’t need them to get access to these big secrets…my mom made them available and even gave me a safe place to experiment.
- Shared her life story. It was a rough one and she shared many nitty-gritty details that I’m not sure I WANTED to know. But by sharing she showed me the depth of her, the surety she built for herself and the confidence that one can have in oneself, despite adversity. She showed me that, even if other people hurt you, beat you down and try to keep you on their level, you can rise above. And as a teen, I really needed to know that–because bullies are real and they’re everywhere.
- Hung My Art on the Wall. I cried typing this. And she probably has no idea how amazing this one tiny act had on me. My mom hung my art on the wall. Even though I still feel like it looks like a 10 year old painted it, she took my 17 year-old painted grapes and she put them on the wall next to her gorgeous landscapes and portraits. Despite the fact that I clearly have no talent, my mom was proud of me. She thought I was beautiful in a way that went beyond skin and blonde hair. And she showed me in a very powerful way. She put that art on the wall and she was proud of me–so that I could be proud of myself and have the cojones to put subsequent pieces I painted on my own wall in my new home as an adult.
- Packed My Bags. I’ll never forget climbing into my mom’s lap at 18 and telling her I didn’t want to grow up. Now that I have my own little ladies, I know that had to be just as hard for her to deal with as it was for me (because we all know sending my son to college will NOT be as difficult as sending my daughters…). But, when it came down to it, my mom helped me pack my bags, put them in my car and sent me on my way. She didn’t make a scene, she didn’t refuse to help, and she NEVER tried to talk me out of going. No, she showed me that strength in the face of life’s changes is the key to, ultimately, being happy (even if, in the moment, you’re not so happy).
My mom is amazing and I truly hope that I can be just as amazing to my kids as she is to me. If only…