*Irrelevant anecdote: this picture was taken on our first days of school (first grade for me and mom because she taught the neighboring class and fifth for Megan) and her horrible then-best friend got a limo(????) for some reason to take the two of them to school and she did not invite me to go on the ride! Even though I was like 40 pounds and took up zero space! So I went with my dad in his giant truck with leather seats and no air conditioning and I was mad the whole time! I still haven’t forgotten, Brianna!!! Anywho…*
Today is one of my favorite days because it’s the most incredible woman’s birthday! I write a birthday ode to my mom every year because she’s my favorite person in the world and I’m 100% certain I would never fully operate or exist without her. I’ve truly put her through the ringer over the past 23 years of my life, but especially so since 2019. My mom had to suffer through my my worst depressive season ever last fall and she constantly encouraged me and sent me job opportunities when all I wanted to do was sleep, hide in my room, and cry. And during this pandemic, she made the transition from her current job as a reading resource teacher (which she loves and deserves!) back to first grade in order to assist the regular first grade teachers in limiting their class sizes. She’s constantly creating and editing her class Google Docs (which she usually asks me for help with and I am often the most impatient person), working on curriculum, doing extra work for her kids, and helping her coworkers with their switch to online class. While many people haven’t honored teachers for all of their impossibly difficult and unusual work this year, I only find my mom even more inspiring and nurturing. She is unfailing in her love for her family and friends, passionate about her work, and truly the most thoughtful and generous person I know. Even though it’s currently impossible to celebrate her in the way she deserves (we can’t even have a picnic for god’s sake)—a whole day off from cleaning, giant bouquets of flowers, everything she’d buy for herself already purchased, and platters of her favorite foods—we did manage to score on the food part and bought mom three of her most loved and requested meals. I am always thankful for my mom, but COVID has made me treasure her even more. Hauʻoli lā hānau iā ʻoe mom! You are so loved.