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In addition to marking the anniversary of our country’s independence, July is also my mom’s birthday month, so it’s the perfect time to share with you what an incredible person she is. She has been so influential in shaping my values, work ethic, and even love of music. Like my dad, my mom is a determined, hardworking person who’s made sure her children live by those same values. After leaving home at a young age, my mom’s work ethic helped her succeed against all odds. She went on to earn her computer programming degree and establish a career for herself. My mom had the same high expectations for her children as she did for herself. Roxana and I were athletic and participated in sports, which might be enough for many parents, but my mom knew it was important for us to be well-rounded. She required my sister and I to participate in the arts, so we both played the piano. It wasn’t something that came second, either. Once, in high school, I skipped a piano class because I wanted to focus on my upcoming basketball game. The next day at A LOVE OF MUSIC, A STRONG WORK ETHIC, AND A SENSE OF DUTY WHAT I OWE TO MY MOTHER
playing. I signed up for a class and practiced in our college’s music room. It’s a hobby I still enjoy to this day, and I wouldn’t have that musical inclination if it weren’t for my mom. Both my parents worked while Roxana and I were growing up, which meant that even when they rearranged their schedules, there were still gaps in the day when my parents had to rely on others to take care of my sister and me. During a lot of our childhood, Roxana and I went to day care — but my mom wasn’t just going to leave us in someone else’s hands.
basketball, my mom marched into the gym, pulled me out of practice, and wouldn’t let me return until I’d gone to piano class. Our coach even came to my house to ask if I could come back. “Not until he goes to piano,” my mom told him. She was insistent that her kids honor their responsibilities, and though I didn’t always understand it when I was a kid, I’m so grateful she instilled a sense of duty in us. Despite trying to dodge piano when I was in high school, I found that when I got to college, I actually missed
She and my dad (though definitely coordinated by my mom) would drive by our day care from time to time and make surprise visits, just to see what we were up to. It was her way of checking on us and making sure we were being treated well when she couldn’t be there. Her diligence is one of the reasons I’m so passionate about cases involving injuries to kids at day care facilities. Last year, my mom and I traveled to London, and the trip brought us even closer together. It reminded me how lucky I am to have such a strong, determined, and, most of all, caring person in my life.
Happy birthday, Mom!
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