· Humor. My mom is one of the funniest people I know. She always has been. She exhales humor naturally, and she’s often funniest when she’s just being her weird self. My mom views the world from a mirthful lens. As a kid, this provided endless entertainment. We’d take ordinary, normal situations and turn them into uproarious inside jokes that we’d laugh about for years.
· Whimsy. My mom was (is) a whimsical person. She’s always working on some writing project, and she’s fantastically creative. She has taken up permanent residence in the clouds, which was a lot of fun as a kid. At the time I didn’t appreciate just how much time she spent humoring me and my childish ideas. I remember we’d take long drives to California, Oregon, and all over. During those drives we’d create these sweeping stories of magic powers, government conspiracies, and incredible fortunes. She didn’t just absently listen, either. She was a fully active participant in the grand worlds I would create in my head. We infrequently had television as a child, but I didn’t need or miss it. The stories my mom and I made up were more interesting than anything the television would have provided.
· Depth of thought. One of my favorite quotes is “Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.” I don’t know who originally said this, but it makes me think of my mom. She’s a great thinker. She’d much rather discuss concepts and ideas than discuss the minutia of peoples’ lives and dramas. Not to say she doesn’t ever engage in paltry gossip every now and then, she does. But her mind tends to inevitably wander back to the philosophical. To this day, I refuse to make any major life changes without first consulting my mom at length. Honestly, I refuse to make even minor changes without running them by her either.
· Love of reading. As long as I’ve known her (my whole life), my mom has been an avid reader. Voracious, even. She’s typically reading a book, or seven, at any given time. While our tastes in literature vary wildly (I wouldn’t be caught dead reading any of her favorite books, ever. Not ever.), I’ve definitely inherited her adoration of the written word. We share a Scribd account, which never fails to make me laugh because her taste is so diametrically opposed to mine, but we both read constantly.
· Ability to connect with strangers instantly. My mom is the person who goes into a store and leaves with a bunch of friends. She’s sociable and gregarious and completely likable. I distinctly remember as a kid sitting next to her, rolling my eyes as she stood and talked to some random person for an eternity. Looking back now, I respect this characteristic. People have always adored my mother. I would like to think I’ve emulated this with some degrees of success, even if I sometimes weird people out with my insistence on talking with them while we wait in line at the check stand.
· Confidence. Growing up and leaving the house kind of hit me with a nasty shock: People are really insecure about things. Now, don’t get me wrong, I was shy and awkward as a kid, but it didn’t even really strike me to feel self-conscious about how I look. My mom always exuded this energy, this instinct that she simply didn’t care what people thought. Unconsciously I absorbed this energy and made it my own. Really, only in college did I realize that maybe there were reasons I shouldn’t feel completely comfortable being myself. I had never felt like I needed to look or act a certain way just to be acceptable to others, and I have my mom to thank for that.