If you frequent Facebook, you may have noticed the recent trend of changing profile pictures to reflect the current season or cause. On Friday, many of my friends started looking older suddenly—until I realized they’d posted pictures of their moms in honour of Mother’s Day. I knew exactly which picture I’d use to give tribute to my mom. It’s the picture she sent me in February, taken at a way-station somewhere along the 31 km of the Canadian Birkebeiner Ski Festival.
Skiing and Canoeing
When she first told me was going to ski the Birkie, I didn’t think much of it. I knew she went skiing on some local trails every chance she got and she’s talked about doing other ski trips. Then she told me she’d done it… and that next time she does it, she’ll get herself into better shape first. I laughed. If there’s anyone who’s in “good shape,” it’s my mom. She swims daily, walks lots, bikes to work when she can, skis through the winter and canoes through the summer.
This summer, my mom is paddling the Yukon River Quest along with seven other women. As I watched a movie she sent me about another team of women paddlers, I found myself almost crying. I could picture my mom in a canoe on the river like those women, paddling through the rain and the dark and the exhaustion. She’ll be the one still smiling at the end of the race, the one telling the others “We can do it!” and making sure everyone is eating and drinking enough.
My Mom, My Teacher
My mom taught me for grades 1-12 at home, before homeschooling became “cool” or popular. She taught me to sew, cook, and clean. She taught me to drive our 8-passenger Chevy van. She taught me to ski, swim, canoe, and hike. She taught me to pray and to read my Bible every day by doing that herself. She taught me to chase my dreams.
When I was growing up, my mom sewed all my clothes. When I hit my late teens, I began buying my own clothes and realized that my style choices were different than my mom’s. For a while, I was scared to tell her I didn’t want her to sew my clothes anymore. I even kept wearing some of the clothes I didn’t like, because I didn’t want to offend her.
Finally, though, I started moving those clothes into the Goodwill bags and told my mom why. She was totally fine with it. Looking back, I can see the style changes my mom has been through her life and how she’s always supported my choices and ideas. I should’ve known this wouldn’t be an issue either.
Favourite Memories with My Mom
One of my favourite memories with my mom is hiking the North Boundary Trail just before I started university. It’s a 10-day trek from Jasper to Mount Robson. My mom met my dad while hiking that trail and I’d grown up hearing stories about it.
Ten days in the mountains was a dream come true. As university and summer jobs loomed before me, I figured I’d better grab my last chance to do it. We had near-perfect weather for our trip and had so much fun together, doing something we both loved. It was a special time to draw close before I got busy with everything that the next four years would bring.
A Tribute to My Mom
For years, I tried to plan something special for Mom for Mother’s Day—a big party or a fancy dinner or a nice gift from my brother’s and I. This year, as distance separates us, I just sent her a package in the mail and called her on Sunday. It’s true that since I’ve become a mother, I’ve appreciated her even more. I’m proud to be my mother’s daughter.
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