Tuesday, March 08, 2011

International Women's Day

Yes. My blog is participating in the blogging for International Women’s Day madness.
And here’s the thing. I can blog about anything – inspiring women, gender equality, gender inequality, etc, and my mind keeps coming back to possibly the most cliché topic ever. My mom.
My mom is awesome. No. She’s seriously awesome, and I am proud to consider her one of my best friends. I’m biased you say? Let me explain why you, too, should be inspired by this woman.
She is smart as hell. Yup. Graduated high school early, went to college, got into one of the top Linguistics PhD programs in the country and got her PhD in record time. And during graduate school she got divorced, got married, had a baby, and moved to the middle east. Her PhD thesis writing was interrupted mostly by toddler wrangling, it seems. (And not much of that, since as you all know, I am perfection incarnate and always have been)
She is an amazing mom. As I mentioned before, she toddler-wrangled in Kuwait, only to move back to the US and take on a 24/hr job at a prep school where she proceeded to have 2 more kids. And pretty much return to work immediately, newborn in tow. We have a picture somewhere of her teaching class from bed days after delivering my babiest sister, Indiana. When we were 10, 5, & 3, the fambly moved to Japan, where she proceeded to child- and teenage- wrangle for 13 years. In Japan. In a country that has extremely different parenting styles, and where very few people speak English. Processed food never entered our kitchen (except for frozen pot pies when I was sick). I didn’t know what an Oreo was upon entering kindergarten. She is the first to praise accomplishment and the first to empathize when failures happen. And goddamnit, she saved all of my ‘drawings’ as a small child.
She is the most down-to-earth and awesome woman I know. Case in point: she came out to help me get the farm started, stayed for 2 or so months, and is itching to get back. She is not afraid to get her hands dirty, and at the end of the day prefers it this way, I think. She has canoed down the Missouri river, hiked part of the Appalachian, traveled all over the middle east, been to Petra for crying out loud, traveled all over Europe, been to Australia, been to south America, traveled parts of Asia, built a cabin with her family in her teen years, and always baked our treats from scratch growing up.
So. If I can grow up (shut up. I may almost be 32, but I am not grown up yet.) to possess a fraction of the smartness, maternalness, tenaciousness, and general can-do ness that my mom has, I’ll consider myself an extremely lucky and accomplished person. I only hope I can inspire others as much as she has inspired me. Clichés are clichés for a reason.
Mom toasting Melvin's arrival. Little does she know she's toasting the kickoff of this farm adventure, the day I fell for my man, life in North Carolina, and the clicking together of many of my life's puzzle pieces. Love you mom.


Kerri said...

I have mom envy. Seriously!

What a wonderful tribute. And yes, your mom IS awesome! And you are definitely your mother's daughter. :)

Roxanne said...

Hey - well said deary!

George and Kerri said...

It's amazing the similarities of our mothers. Next time we meet, we can compare notes. My mother is known in the extended family as "The Little Red Hen" for good reason. :) Would love to meet your mom some time, she's already a virtual friend of ours.

Adriana said...

Your mom *is* really rad! You forgot to mention that she learned Elvish (LOTR). Plus she sent me a book about colleges and without it I would never have gotten to the place I'm at now. So glad to have you wonderful women as relatives!

caitlinvb said...

Yes. I *had* forgotten that she taught herself elvish and used to take note in class in Elvish. Shades of Linguistic PhD to come?

And I had no idea that she sent you that college book, Adriana. OK. She rules. She's also on the west coast and most definitely has not seen this post yet. Hehe.

@George & Kerri - you are welcome in Vancouver any time. They can give you the inside boating scoop on the sunshine coast as well as the use of their facilities should you need ANYTHING. Don't be shy :)

Indiana said...

Why does this stuff always make me cry?

caitlinvb said...

@banana - because mom is amazing. But also because you've gotten to experience the amazingness firsthand. Oh. And I take it you don't remember the miso soup incident?

Anonymous said...

An amazing mother and woman indeed! =) Great post! Thanks to you two for inspiring me. =)