Tuesday, November 10, 2009
I want to take a minute to brag. I have the coolest mom in all the history of moms. I am not exaggerating to make her feel loved on her 63rd birthday, I am simply stating the facts. If you know Marolyn then you know that she is in fact one of the most amazing people on the face of the planet. If you don't have to good fortune of knowing her then let me give you a brief overview of this spectacular human being.
She is incredibly smart. She has a doctorate degree in Education and a Masters in counseling. She knows pretty much everything there is to know about child development and child discipline. I have an expert (literally) a phone call away when ever I need any advice about anything. She manages to always give helpful advice without being intrusive or making you feel judged, and she is always tactful and loving. We are best friends and I can talk to her about anything. She does paid public speaking gigs where she imparts her life wisdom to hundreds of people at a time, yet I have her at my disposal 24 hours a day. She is there for me whenever I need her. This is such a huge comfort to me. She is my rock.
Marolyn is the most devoted grandmother I have ever seen. She gets on the floor and wrestles with the boys and she spend hours playing dolls with the girls. She can always be counted on to bring presents and to read books. She connects with each child and takes the time to really know them. She is full of games and fun but she is also no pushover. Emma used to call her "Grandma time-out" because no matter how fun she is, she doesn't let those little ones get away with anything. She has an endless attention span for kid stuff and each of her grand kids know they are deeply loved.
My mom is a spiritual giant. She took four children to church every Sunday our entire life all by herself. I am only now beginning to understand how hard she worked. At the time it seemed so effortless but now I can appreciate what hard work goes into raising kids. Her testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ never wavered. She set an example of spiritual living that was real and accessible. I never felt preached to, it was just obvious that mom's strength and peace came from being anchored in Christ and as a result none of her children ever wanted to go another way. All four of us are married in the temple and three of us are returned missionaries. Instead of telling us "Don't smoke and drink." She would have long meaningful discussions with us about the freedom that is inherently found in righteousness and that our bodies are precious and the commandments are to protect us. She made the Gospel make sense and she never underestimated our ability to grasp doctrine. She is humble and real.
My mom gives without measure. 42 years of marriage, four children, fifteen grandchildren, a full time job, church callings, charity work, you name it. There is nothing this woman can't do. Last year she traveled to India to train teachers in leper colonies. This year she went to Argentina as part of an exchange program after winning the very prestigious Fulbright Award. The year before that it was Mexico. She has been selected as Teacher of the Year twice. Once for the State of Arizona and once for her school district. She wrote a book. The woman has a resume you wouldn't believe. It gets so ridiculous that it sounds like I'm making this stuff up.
My mom wrote me a letter every day of my entire mission. She literally never missed a day. ever. They weren't just postcards either. She wrote a long single-spaced typed letter every single day. Other missionaries would go months without a letter from their families but I never had an empty mailbox even once. Her letters were legendary. She never missed a day on my sister Stephanie's mission either. I have never questioned my mom's unconditional love for me.
She accomplishes feats of service that others only dream about. I will give you an example. The other day I was at her house and saw big bags of stuff in the garage. When I asked what was in there she showed me how she had single-handedly organized more than 1000 hygiene, newborn and school supply kits to send to impoverished nations as a humanitarian project. She told me about it in passing as if it was no biggie. Keep in mind that she accomplishes all of this while holding a very demanding full time job as an assistant principal at a K-8 school with over 1000 students. Serving others is second nature to her. This year alone she has extracted over 300,000 names to the family history center of the church and she teaches primary every Sunday to boot. In addition to this impressive resume her house is always clean and she is always dressed cute with accessories matching he outfit and her makeup done. She is hilarious too. Always optimistic and easy to entertain. I could go on for hours.
The most spectacular part about her is that she pulls it all off and still manages to be completely likable and approachable. You can't help but get sucked into her orbit because she has an uncanny ability to put people at ease and make them feel important. In high school I had friends who would come over to my house even when I wasn't there because they wanted to hang out with my mom. I dream about being this kind of mother to my boys.
I marvel at how lucky I am to have a mother like this. I am so proud to be her daughter and so grateful that my children have such an amazing grandma. I amazed that a person can be so wonderful yet so unpretentious and down-to-earth. I want to be just like her in every way when I grow up.
I love you, Mom. Thank you for being my perfect example of womanhood. Strength, courage, beauty, intelligence, faith, humor, and humility. I am so happy to be your daughter. Happy Birthday from your #1 fan.