In our commercialized, capitalistic world, Mothers Day has become another holiday during which we are encouraged to purchase new items and gift them to a loved one as a token of our appreciation for them - but we all know that's not what Mom's are about. I'm pretty sure your Mom would appreciate a heartfelt card or some precious time spent together instead of another piece of jewelry or set of table napkins. Which is why, instead of telling you which 10 sustainable items you should buy for your Mom this year, I'm writing something sweet about my own Momma, right here.
Most of us recognize the fact that we all, in some way, become our parents. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, and all that. In the past four years of my life, as I've turned towards living responsibly and sustainably, I've discovered my own likeness to my Mom in some unexpected ways. Though I don't necessarily think of her as the world’s most sustainable woman, I can't deny the influence her actions and outlooks have had on me.
Let's start at the beginning. My Mom is the woman who brought my ass into this word, and then proceeded to wrap it in reusable diapers. Not only was she reducing waste and saving money by using cloth diapers, the incredible woman somehow found the time to sew them herself - with cute little flannel dinosaurs on 'em to boot. Cute, comfy, non-toxic and reusable, now that is Motherly love.
As far back as I can remember, my Mom has spent her free Sundays visiting the Farmers Market, with a gigantic reusable bag in tow, taste-testing fruits and getting to know the Sacramento Valley farmers. This beautiful habit of hers has passed down to me, leaving me with a sense of utmost wonder and joy upon entering any farmstand, Greenmarket, Farmers Market or otherwise fresh-produce laden center of community. This love of connecting with fresh food, the people who grew it, and the ground that it came from forms the root of my sustainable lifestyle.
After the Farmers Market, where Mom was always sure to buy an extra basket of cherry tomatoes or berries just for me (because she knew I'd chomp half of 'em down before they ever made it into her salad), she would always whip up some delicious meal for her family. Watching her in the kitchen taught me never to use a recipe and to always trust my gut. More importantly, her tradition of home-cooking showed me that something as simple as good food has the power to bring people together and to create happiness.
There have been a number of moments spent around the dinner table, or enjoying a summer night out on the back patio, where my Mother’s food and hospitality has succeeded in creating so much joy that it resulted in her own fits of cackling, hooting laughter. My Mom managed to pass her sense of humor (and insane laugh) down to me. Both of us happen to be strong women who hold our ground when we have to, and are always available to be leaned upon, but we know that a compromise can be a more sustainable stance when certain arguments loom. I may have my Dad’s hard-headedness, but I’m also blessed with the ability to let something roll off my back when it’s not important, or out of my control, and that’s all Mom.
So, Happy Mothers Day, and thank you for being my Mama. Your freedom of spirit and love of good food lives on in me, even as far away as New York. There is a gift in the mail, but it's only because I thought of you and your multi-cultural kitchen while shopping for dishware in Mexico. I hope you have a wonderful day celebrating the fact, and the day, that you brought me into this world. I love you, Mom!