I had lunch with my mom today, just the two of us. We talked about everything from the littlest detail of our daily reality to the biggest crises we see going on in the world, because that’s what we do, what we’ve always done, when we talk. When we were leaving the restaurant, a group of people were walking in, and my mom smiled at this woman and said, “I love your dress! It’s a beautiful color on you!” The woman beamed at the compliment and thanked her. And I thought, “Yes, that’s my mom. Exactly that is who my mom is.”
My mom is one of the most gracious people with compliments I’ve ever known. She does not ever say something she doesn’t mean. She doesn’t hand them out willy-nilly. They are one million miles from insincere. But what she sees–and this woman pays attention–she lauds. A piece of jewelry, a lovely home, a delicious meal, a kind gesture, a job well done…if my mom sees you do it, she will come up to you and hand you some credit for making the world more beautiful. She will make you smile and feel like you can do great things.
She is a champion.
She is a champion in both ways that word can be used. She is someone who is a winner, a leading gold medalist in what she does as a mom herself. I am beyond words grateful for the gift I have in being given a mother like my mom. And she is also a champion in that she’s someone who doggedly supports, encourages, and advocates on behalf of others and for others. She is a one-woman affirmation machine, and there’s no calculating the ripple effect that has had on people through the years. She is, to turn a phrase, a champion who champions.
This, to me, gets at the heart of what great moms bring into the world. They are our cheerleaders, our most loyal supporters, our all-weather fans, our voice of optimism amidst defeat. They believe in us. And when you have a mom–any mom, mind you, whether it’s a biological mom or just a dear wise woman who is in your life–who believes in you, WOW. You can do so many things.
There are many ways in which I want to be like my mom. Being someone who champions others so effortlessly, so consistently that it’s just the way she breathes–I hope I’m learning each day to be more and more like that, to take the time to say those things I see. Because I do- I see them. I see you moms in carpool putting your arms around your kids, and the way you slog it out in the heat to stand by the bouncy house, and how you’re running them around and getting together their soccer/football/hockey/baseball gear and making sure they have their water. I see you at the grocery store and the park and the frozen yogurt place. I see you with your pre-teen daughter at the mall trying to get an outfit she likes, God bless you. I see you bouncing that baby as he cries and cries and seems to care very little at how you’re trying. I see you trying to reason with your screaming toddler in the parking lot of Target after a long day. I see you, and I think you are doing a beautiful job. This Mothers Day, I salute all you champion moms. Be sure- the world is a better place because of the encouragement and love you’ve given. Champion Moms have filled this universe with love and we are all the better for it.
Let’s champion each other. Let’s champion our kids, whether they’re our biological kids or the kids next door or the kids we teach. Let’s catch people being good, looking beautiful, making the world lovelier, and let’s tell them so.
And to my mom, my beautiful, smart, loving mom, I say this: thank you for being my champion. I’m eternally grateful. And I’m still taking notes.