Mother's Day: 4 Mommas I Admire
Alicia, Marsha, Geneva and Sara
As a young mom of two boys, 3 and 2 months year old, I am still figuring out who I am as a Mom. What’s my parenting style? How am I consciously raising my kids? Are my morals and values aligned with how I am raising my kids? Or am I just going with the motions and letting other influences, such as work, school, and family dictate how my kiddos will grow up? There is a mom I am today, and there is the mom I hope I will become. But there are a few mommas, that I think of often, who I truly admire as mommas. In some little way each of these women embody what I admire in a great mom. Maybe I have a little bit of their qualities in myself.
1. Alicia – Comfy t-shirt, Long hippie skirts, and Frye boots. That’s Alicia. I love this woman. She is a total Portland, Oregon Momma. She totted her babies around in her silver Prius blaring Eddy Vedder and the Dixie Chicks. She always wore a flowy hippie skirt with worn Frye boots. She smelled of Rose Water and coffee. Technically Alicia was my boss, when I lived in Portland, for 8 years, but she became my family while I lived out there. She was a social worker turned real estate agent, but mostly she was a momma bear hustling for her babies. She was a stay at home momma when her babies were little and I loved hearing her talk about exploding diapers, trips to the mall with her babies, and her oldest wearing full suits when he was a toddler. She was a spiritual junkie who introduced me to mediums and psychics and made sure we checked our tarot cards weekly. We spent many afternoons cruising around Portland, previewing houses for clients, listening to Robert Plant, and grabbing micheladas at Por Que No, a hip Mexican restaurant in the hipster neighborhood, Mississippi. I admired how authentic and true to her self she always was. She encouraged her daughter to dye her hair purple. She always encouraged her kids to follow their dreams and go for the best. I admire how Alicia put her kids in the best schools in Portland. She hustled to make sure that happened, and her kids got everything they deserved. Her kids went to an elite private school in Portland that was an incredible campus rich with nature, art, and very educated teachers. I wanted to go their everyday. It was amazing! When her son wanted to start racing go carts professionally, she hustled to make sure his dreams were funded. I admire how hard she worked for her kids. I admire Alicia’s passionate soul to follow your heart, listen to your spirit animals, be YOURSELF, and stop at NOTHING to give your kids the best. I love you Alicia! You always made me feel like I was special and incredibly capable. You put a lot of confidence in myself. You’re the best.
2. Geneva and Sara – I will start by saying I don’t know these two ladies very personally, but mostly more professionally. We were all teachers together at a private school in Costa Rica. As I got to know these two ladies, I realized “Wow, I hope one day, I can be a mom like these two gals.” Both, are American ex-pats living and raising their children in Costa Rica. They teach at a private dual immersion school in Costa Rica. Sara is one of the co-founders at this school. Geneva teaches and heads up the volunteer program at this school. She also owns a sunset cruise business with her husband. I admire the lifestyle that these ladies created for their families, living abroad in beautiful Costa Rica. When I am in Costa Rica, I feel FREE. Always! I can’t explain it very well, but I feel so incredibly FREE when I am there. There’s no rules like the states, and the Pura Vida lifestyle is how everyone should live, in my opinion. It’s about enjoying life, being out in nature, moving at a slower pace, swimming in the ocean, sipping a cocktail on the beach, and dropping everything at a moment notice if something else looks more fun. Pura Vida, the Pure Life. So back to Geneva and Sara, both moved their families to Costa Rica to live and teach. I admired their life in Costa Rica and the life that their children were experiencing. All of their kids were SO happy. They seemed like kids. They weren’t affected by pressures of school from standardized testing, because their school didn’t have that kind of testing. They weren’t unhappy because they were cooped up inside playing videos games all day. No! They were happy kids because they spent their days playing at the beach, swimming in pools, learning to surf and fish. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables. These kids were happy and confident. I want my kids to grow up like this. Can you imagine what they’ll be like as adults? Probably, happy and confident. Here’s why I admire Geneva so much…..Geneva grew up in New Mexico. She was very smart and got into the college of her choice when she was young. She headed out west on her own (rad!). Ok, here’s the part I love…she could not swim at the time, and decided she wanted to learn how to surf. She was living in Northern California and grabbed a board and jumped into the frigid Pacific waters, which by the way are infested with great white sharks. I guess when you’re from New Mexico you don’t think of sharks much. Anyways, she learned to surf and still surfs to this day. She met her hubby in those cold waters, and since then they’ve sailed around the world together and moved their family to Costa Rica to raise their two boys. I love that! What a life! What an adventure! When I start getting scared and fear creeps over me, I think of Geneva and just go for it. I try to find the adventure in things. Release my fear and jump in, like Geneva jumping into the chilly Pacific!
3. Marsha – 35 years my senior, and the most supportive kind momma you’ll ever meet. Marsha was truly my momma when I lived in Oregon. She was maternal towards me from the moment I met her. Her little cottage sat next to a winding river and her yard was like a beautiful lush garden where you wanted to lay in the grass and read a good book. Her hippie home was adorned with art, plants, a variety of unique rocks and crystals, natural light, and many nooks and crannies to curl up with a kitty. She loved cats. (I’m not really a cat person, but that’s ok) There was a smell of organic produce and earth friendly cleaning products. Every time I went to her house I was welcomed with a micro brew, Oregon cheese plate, and warm baguette. My favorite spot was her art studio upstairs. She had converted an upstairs room into her own private art studio. She made beautiful journals and paper books that she would sew together. She often would create beautiful pictures with mixed mediums of paper and images. She would leave her work out and on the walls as a work in progress. I loved stepping into her private world. We even began exchanging art projects through the mail with each other, like an art pen pal. We kept that going for a couple years. It was very special. Marsha is a horticulturalist by trade. She’s a plant lady, and boy does this lady have a green thumb. She’s very tall, beautiful, and always wore funky glasses and yoga pants. I would pretend she was my mom, when we were out and about in Portland. I admired her momma-ness, because she raised two kids (boy and girl, twins actually) all by herself. She was a single mom for years. And all through that time and even now, she is the most supportive momma I’ve ever met. If you have an idea or dream. Tell Marsha. She is SO supportive. She gets excited. She encourages. She creates a joy inside yourself that says “yeah, I’m going to DO THIS!”. A bit of a gypsy herself, she had lived on a sailboat in Hawaii, dated a wild Oregonian bush pilot (who almost crashed and killed her by the way), and was member of the Rajeneesh Parum for a hot second (before it got weird and they had child care in Portland). When I get all tensed up and up tight, I think of Marsha reminding me to meditate in the garden. Slow down. Grab a good book. Create some art. Grab a beer. Sit by a river and listen. Relax. Enjoy life. Thanks Marsha, I miss you.
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Products that remind me of each momma
Geneva and Sara