For my mom, on her birthday.


Today my mom turns 30 “with 20ish years experience” (as she always says). Like all moms, she was a huge influence in my life and in the way I do things now. It became even more apparent when I married Willy. I would hear her voice in my head chiding me for this or that. I thought I had been free from that voice, but the moment I started building my own home, her voice came back to haunt me. In a good way, mostly.

Here are some valuable life lessons I learned from my mom:

  1. You might really, really, really want to throw your newborn baby out the window. That’s somewhat normal. Don’t actually do it. (My mother-in-law has similarly passed on the advice: “It’s ok to want to throw your baby out the window, but it’s not ok to actually do it). I was SHOCKED when I first heard her make reference to this when I was 12. Now I realize that most moms experience this at least once in their mom-hood.
  2. Saying ‘no’ is OK. Unless you’re talking back to your parents (but I did that anyways).
  3. You can have a stubborn, fierce, mischievous child (who fakes her own death and says inappropriate things at church) and keep most of your sanity. (That child was me, in case you had any doubts).
  4. You can get 10%-15% off if you find broken things in a store and demand a discount. You can also argue with your phone company and refuse to pay charges  you didn’t incur. This is known in our family as the “Scary Lady Routine.” She used to do this all the time, especially with clothing items she could fix herself easily.
  5. When doctors can’t figure out what’s wrong with you (and don’t seem to care) it’s your mom who will do the Scary Lady Routine on your doctor, too, until you find some answers.
  6. Don’t ever compromise on what you believe. 
  7. It’s ok to be a little crazy. If you get too crazy, there are meds for that and that’s also OK. 
  8. Emotions are like the lights on your car’s dashboard: they help you understand what’s going on under the hood.
  9. If your kids are a little adventurous, rather than stifling it for fear of them getting hurt: teach them how to fall safely. One day she when I was 3 she found me on the top of the swing-set. After she made me get down, she enrolled me into gymnastics. ”

Mom, thanks for being a good mom-model and showing me how to be better at life! Happy Birthday!

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  • Katy Parks

    Aw, I love this post! So super sweet. You’ve learned some great lessons from her, and sounds like she’s a great mom. My favorites were 3, 7, and 9 (but of course all of them are so great).

    Happy Birthday, Jess’s mom!