It’s funny how much becoming a parent changes your perspective on life, isn’t it? As a teenager, I thought that my mom was the worst parent ever. She was so over protective, so strict, so controlling…once Angeline became a teenager, it was as though a light bulb went off in my head. I had one of those “OH, That’s why…” moments and realized that every seemingly crazy thing my mom did while I was growing up was done out of love and with the intention of raising me to be the very best possible person I could be.
I love my life and I am completely comfortable in who I am as a person today, mostly due to the values my mother (and dad too) instilled in me as a teenager. The most important part of my mother’s legacy was teaching me that family is the most important thing in life, and that has carried with me to this day.
My mom says, “Families are an important part of your life. They help you with your identity of who are you are and how you came to be.”
I am the oldest of four daughters, and my mom and dad both come from large families. While I was growing up, family was the most important thing. Weekends were spent with the family, at my grandparent’s house, and with my cousins.
Birthday parties were full of family, and where most school-aged children had classmates and neighborhood friends over for their birthday parties, I had a gaggle of cousins crowding around my annual birthday cakes.
When I became a mother, I tried to instill the same sense of importance in my own daughter. While she definitely has friends from the neighborhood and from school, she has spent more time with her cousins than anyone else. When I met Chris and he was an active duty Marine, I made it clear that I would only consider marrying him if he planned on ending his service and settling down in Miami with me – because there was no way I was going to leave my family, or remove Angeline from her family.
Chris loves his family dearly, but they are so spread out over the country (Florida, Michigan and New Mexico) that there just isn’t that same sense of closeness that I grew up with. I live within a five mile radius of 75% of my family, and we see each other a few times a week – even if it’s just waving at each other as we drive past each other on the street.
Our family vacations have always revolved around visiting family, whether it be my grandparents and cousins in North Carolina, or Chris’s family in New Mexico. Of course we plan trips to other places as well, but family always comes first.
My life is full of love and a sense of togetherness because my life is full of my family. From everything from family dinners and birthday parties to midweek lunches and Sunday mornings at the park – my family is a part of my everyday life. I owe it all to my mother, and I hope to leave the same legacy for Angeline.
What is your mother’s legacy?
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Shane Co. The opinions and text are all mine.