aka Lynnie Lump Lump
aka Bim Bim
aka Ma Bim
aka #1 fan
Or as I know her best...Mom.
It concerns me that living in different cities has meant that despite moulding me into the magnificent human I am today.....
My mom is small in stature (yes, we can still share jeans), but big in personality. She can often be heard before she is seen, with a contagious laugh and a powerful whistle. She was the mom that woke us up for school with a smile, had a healthy lunch packed and was there to greet us when we got home. Her love was tangible. Even in my more rebellious years when she may have hated the choices I made, I always knew she still loved the person I was. And let's face it, most of those choices were Amanda's fault anyways...
People are often surprised that my brother and I became such avid travellers despite the fact that until recently my mom had never even left North America. However it is clear that we both felt confident enough to go abroad because we knew we had a great support system back home. Growing up in such a loving environment instills the confidence and security it takes to know you can handle new challenges. My brother and I can no longer claim that we are the travellers of the family as last year my parents hopped on a plane and joined me for an epic adventure in Kenya (my mom's first time out of North America!).
In my youth, her ability to blur the line between stranger and friend was the cause of endless embarrassment, but as I age I realize this is a trait so few possess and has incredible value. She will strike up conversation anywhere and without discrimination. The homeless man on the street, the lady behind her in line, the guy trying to sleep next to her on the subway. In her eyes, all these people represent opportunities to share a laugh and a common experience.
She has taught me over the years that it is better to try than to win. Which has proven to be extremely valuable as winning is rare for me. I would argue that despite never being at the front of the pack, we have the most fun there...laughing, singing and making friends along the way.
She has taught me not to take myself too seriously and that being mature doesn't mean you can't have fun. She has the incredible ability to find humour in almost anything, no matter the situation.
She has shown me through her relationship with my dad, what love really looks like. Together they have taught me the value of relationships and experiences over 'stuff'.
I don't really know how to sum it up other than my mom is better than your mom (I'm allowed to say that because it is her birthday)! So Happy Birthday mom. With age I have finally come to realize that anything worthwhile I have done or anything good about my personality has come directly from you, so thank you.
I wish I was there to celebrate in person, but we will go out for a night of virgin cuba libres soon!