7 SIBLINGS, 1 INCREDIBLE MOM A Mother’s Day Shoutout to the Best of the Best
made popcorn for me to chow down on because that was cheaper than any other snack. These days, I still eat a lot of popcorn, and every time I do, I think of my mom. When my siblings and I all moved out, my mom claimed she was done cooking forever and the freezer was her new best friend, but somehow that didn’t last. I think that the nurturing, unifying aspect of cooking was just too big a part of her personality, and it’s a way that she gives to the people in her life. That said, food isn’t the only way my mom gives comfort to others. Over the years, she and my dad have taken in and befriended a lot of down and out people, including relatives, friends, friends of friends, and anyone who needs help, really! I haven’t even met most of the people they’ve helped get back on their feet over the years. They welcome these people into their home, help them find jobs, and sometimes even share resources. My mom grew up in a rough- and-tumble household and spent some years in high school living with a friend, so I think she has always been able to put herself in those people’s shoes. In addition to my passions for food and helping people, I have to credit my mom for my love of learning. Despite marrying right out of high school, she always valued education. She put college off to raise us, but when my youngest sibling was 10, she enrolled in a nursing program at a local community college. After that, she went on to earn a master’s in psychology! At home, she always shared what she was learning with us. We were probably the only family on
My mom has the biggest heart of anyone I’ve ever met, and she deserves to be celebrated every day of the year, not just on Mother’s Day. But with that holiday
coming up, I thought I’d give her a portion of her due and tell you all about her!
I don’t get to see my mom much because my parents live in the Tri-Cities, but I think about her often — in fact, pretty much any time that I pull out a snack or sit down to a meal. That’s because one of my mom’s favorite things in life is to have people over to her house and feed them. She’s a queen in the kitchen, and one of her main ways of nurturing is through food and conversation at the table. She’s always trying different recipes and experimenting with food. When my siblings and I were in school back in the ‘80s, she’d send us with rice cakes and almond butter in our lunches. It was years before those foods were trendy, but she was right there on the front lines experimenting! I’m the middle child of seven siblings, so growing up, our kitchen table was a big one. That many kids would stretch anybody’s parental capacity, but my mom always handled the rowdy group of us with grace. (She had this habit of stringing our names together that really made me feel like a part of something. I was “TravisChrisJerry” for most of my life and picked up that quirk myself when raising my own girls.) She led with her heart and was always a very giving, nurturing person. That included feeding us and our friends any time they came over. When I came home from school, there was always a batch of freshly
our block doing visualizations and group meditation in the living room! Though my mom never pushed me or my siblings to go to college, she definitely lead by example. Today, all seven of us have college degrees, and some of us have more than one. If your mom is even half as awesome as mine, I’d love to hear about her! Next time you stop by the office, feel free to tell me a story or fill me in on how you’re celebrating Mother’s Day. I’m always looking for creative ways to show my mom how much I care.
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