Snapshots from my life, one question at a time.
Some of the traits I admired in my mother:
FASHION! She had the most eclectic, beautiful clothes, and I am forever attempting to emulate her impeccable sense of style. She very rarely yelled at us growing up, that was more my father’s tactic, but she did get us to behave with the dreaded, “I’m not mad at you, I’m just disappointed.” Looking back at what a handful I was, my mom raised me excellently. She was so very weird, and told the best stories either about her own childhood, or by making up her own. She always stressed that we should strive to be, “mutants among the mundane,” and celebrated our intelligence and our uniqueness, even when fitting in seemed impossible.
She taught me special songs, there was a song for everything and we would sing them together at night whilst cuddling into dreamland. Traveling with my mother was always so special. She knew all of those secret hole-in-the-wall local places for food, people-watching, shopping, it seemed as if she was born and grew up in every city in the country. She had grown up on the big island of Hawaii, Hilo-side, and whenever she would visit back home, or even talk with our relatives, she’d adopt this funny way of speaking then slide headfirst into pidgin. Thanks to her we say makapiapia instead of eye-goobers, hamajang instead of messed up, broke-da-mout instead of delicious and grinds in place of food.
My mother’s friends from work called each other the Ya’s (from the book Ya-Ya Sisterhood) and they called me a petite Ya, which made me feel extra special when we all got to meet up. She worked at Group Health, and when other kids asked on the playground, I thought it was her job to come up with the ‘got milk’ ads. She told me I was beautiful when I felt ugly, and always supported my ambitions, never allowing me to give up on myself. She was a wonderful dancer, and used to do hula competitions as a child and I always wished that I too could grow up riding horses in Hawaii.