Today marks a very special Mother’s Day. It’s the first time in my 22 years of existence that I have two moms to celebrate and give thanks to!
One who gave birth to me, spent countless hours at every band concert, swim meet, and school event, and has continued to support me while I change my mind about life every 5 seconds and travel the world.
The other, a woman who welcomed me with open arms into her home the day I stepped off the plane in Peru. Who sat for hours every evening struggling to understand my beginner Spanish, helping with my homework. All of this while taking care of a two year old and preparing dinner for a family of six.
One mom dropped me off at kindergarten, then middle school, high school, and finally college. She waited hours for marching band practice to end and was waiting everyday when I finished, excited to hear about all of the things I was learning.
The other showed me how to ride the combi, saved me from being ripped off when they asked for my fare, and walked with me to the Peace Corps training center everyday for a week. When I came trekking up the dirt mountain everyday after training she would be waiting for me at the top, excited to hear what new words I learned in Spanish class.
In Texas, my mom packed my lunch everyday for as long as I can remember. Everyday sandwich (usually PB&J), chips, fruit, and a cookie. She taught me how to tie my shoes, ride a bike, and how to not put your favorite white shorts in with the colored clothes.
In Peru, my mom woke up at 5am every morning and packed my tupperware with rice, potatoes, and meat. She taught me how to scare off the street dogs, how to flag down a mototaxi, and how to wash my clothes by hand.
Twenty-one birthdays were celebrated poolside with delicious mom-made cakes. My mom has a tradition of telling us Happy Birthday however many times old we are and so far every year she has succeeded!
Twenty-two was celebrated in Peru, with a dad-made cake and a mom-thrown birthday party! Feeling sad that I wasn’t in Texas, my host mom threw a birthday party and invited all the volunteers in my group.
One mom picked me up when I fell down, stayed up late just to hear about my date, comforted me when I had my heartbroken, and listened every time I just needed to vent. She supported me when I decided to join the Peace Corps and continues to support me through every good and bad day.
The other hugged me every time I missed home or had a bad day, listened wholeheartedly as I struggled my way through conversations, celebrated with me when I found out where I would be serving, and included me in every family event and shopping trip through the busy market. She proudly watched as I was sworn into Peace Corps, and tearfully (like really tearfully) said goodbye.
There are not enough words in the world to express my gratitude to either of these women for the inspiring role they have played in my life! I am becoming the woman I am today because I have been surrounded by amazing women who teach by example. I know being a mother can be tough sometimes, but just know that all of those broken cookie moments don’t go unnoticed and the unconditional love you give is priceless.