{For My Mom, on Her Birthday}

Today is my mother’s birthday.  If any single person has had the most influence on my life up to this point, it would be my mother.

Camille and Family

There are two ways my mother has influenced my life: intentional and non intentional.  I’m sorry to admit it, but it’s true: I am the sort of daughter I would hate to raise. I was not an easy baby, child, or teenager, and I know it.  If someone tells me to do something, it is very likely that I will go and do exactly the opposite, simply because I don’t like being told what to do.  This is one way my mother has influenced me.

For example…I think it would be brilliant if I could be a paid, professional, published writer.  I’ve thought so for a while.  My mom thinks so, too, but I find it incredibly annoying when she says I should submit my work to newspapers or magazines, because then, if I do make it big in the writing world, she might think it was all her idea in the first place {heaven forbid I give some credit where it’s due}.

It’s ridiculous, I know. (I said I wasn’t an easy daughter to raise…)

But there’s another, gentler way my mom has molded me into the person I am.  She has taught me, by example, the sort of woman I’d like to be.  My mom has never been shy—when I was a little girl, I would accompany her to her classroom on a regular basis (my elementary school was where she taught adult education for years).  She would introduce me to her students (all adults, mind you), and treat me exactly like one of them—with respect.  She was always so proud to be my mom…so proud to introduce me to her friends, her coworkers, her students.  I was a handful, yes, but I knew I was loved and cherished.  She didn’t feel the need to apologise for her children (and trust me—I was off-the-wall hyper), and therefore, I learned I didn’t need to apologise for being a kid.  She taught me self confidence, simply by showing me that I was important.  I can’t count the times she has told me, in letters or to my face, that being a mom is all she ever wanted, and my sister and I are her greatest joys in life.

Can any kid be so loved and not feel good about themselves?  I submit it is impossible.

Of course, I know my own limits—I know I have many faults.  But I also know I am a good person, and that putting on a confident face, even when I am terrified inside, will get me places.  My mom taught me that.

And even though I know I’m not ready to be a mom *yet*, I know what kind of mom I want to be when the time comes.  I want to be patient, encouraging, empowering, supportive.  I want to be a mom like she is.

Mom, I’m sorry I skipped out of town for your birthday, but I know you’re happy that we have the opportunity to be here.  {After all, you were the one who taught me to love travel, and to value experiences more than stuff.  [To this day, I will always choose an awesome trip over a fancy-pants new car or gadget.]  Thanks for teaching me.}

I’ve been thinking a lot about you on this visit to the Cayman Islands, because I know how much you like tropical places, and I know you’d love to be here now.  Since you aren’t here, I’ve been gathering pictures of places I thought you’d like to see.  {Poor Kyle isn’t always thrilled to stop the car for photo opportunities, so you can be sure this has been no easy task.}

library-5465There was this amazing restaurant, Papagallo, which was so amazing at first sight that I pleaded with Poor Kyle to turn the car around so I could snap a picture.  It’s only open for dinner, and I don’t know if we’ll get to eat here, but Mom, if you and Dad were paying, we totally would.

Flowers at Cemetery in Grand CaymanThere was this flowering bush and white picket fence surrounding a serene, beachside cemetery.

Vines on Power Line in CaymanThere was this power line with vines growing all the way up it.  I thought you’d find it interesting.

The Shoe Tree, Grand CaymanThere was this random tree by the beach—Poor Kyle and I have dubbed it “The Shoe Tree”—where people have nailed their shoes.  I don’t know why, but I thought you’d think it was funny.

Start Tans in Grand CaymanThere’s this picture of my arm next to Poor Kyle’s, for documenting purposes.  I might come back home with “a little colour,” like you’re hoping.  We’ll use this picture to judge the progress (although, I have been using SPF 50 sunscreen quite faithfully, so there’s really no guarantee that I’ll come home any tanner than I left [curse that Canadian winter]).

There was this steel drum band set up in the street yesterday.  You would have loved it.

LDS Church, Grand Cayman, Cayman IslandsOh, and also…we went to church today.

LDS Church Building, Grand Cayman, Cayman IslandsHappy Birthday!  I love you, Mom.

I promise your Mothers’ Day gift will be more…tangible.

About Camille

I'm Camille. I have a butt-chin. I live in Canada. I was born in Arizona. I like Diet Dr. Pepper. Hello. You can find me on Twitter @archiveslives, Facebook at facebook.com/archivesofourlives, instagram at ArchivesLives, and elsewhere.
This entry was posted in family, on the road again, Travel and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to {For My Mom, on Her Birthday}

  1. jami says:

    I haver a deep and abiding love for your mom as well. I remember when I was so affraid to play the piano in front of people, and she bough me something to put on my piano. She said to think of it, and not be affraid when I was playing in front of people. It was very thoughtful.
    She is so good to me, and Grace. I love your mom, and she is an example to me almost everytime I talk with her.
    this post was wonderful. AND you look hott!

  2. chelsie says:

    I, like many others, might think of your mother as my second mother. I love her dearly!!! She has taught me a lot and guided me through some tough times. She understands how much I can miss you and is always there when I need her.

    No matter how many people tell me to leave you all alone and stop intruding on your family, I never will. You are all family to me and I love you all!!!

  3. mameelynn says:

    I don’t know your mom..(or really you for that matter) but she must be a very amazing mom to have such a great daughter as you! Happy birthday Camille’s mommy!! Oh and by the way where do you find such cute church clothes that cover your G’s?

  4. Chloe says:

    Joyeux anniversaire!!
    Feliz cumpleaños!!
    Viel Glück zum Geburtstag!!
    Happy birthday Camille’s mom!

  5. raygon says:

    Your mom is one of my favorite people. I just love her. you are lucky.

    and it looks like you guys are having a good time. Your dress is adorable.

  6. Christal says:

    what a great tribute to your mom!! Looks like you guys are having so much fun!! I thought of you today on my early run wishing I was running on a beach in the sun!! Enjoy you time cute pictures you always look so beautiful!! ttys

  7. ann marie says:

    This post was sooo sweet!! I love it, and she must be a good mama to have raised such a good girl! :) I’m glad you are enjoying your vacation! Love the shoe tree!

  8. Sarah says:

    You are so sweet Camille. This post will definitely make your mom smile. Happy Birthday Mom!

  9. Shalynna says:

    This was so sweet. I bet your mom loved reading it.

    Also, my goal before I leave is to nail some of my flip flops on that tree. Can you believe we have lived here for almost two years and the first time I noticed that tree (which is on our daily drive to work) was about a month ago!

  10. niki says:

    oh, i love this post. you are both amazing women. your mama must be so proud. i loved seeing all the pics! the shoe tree is awesome!

    love your islandy church dress!!

  11. Holly Decker says:

    i, too, am a daughter that i never wish to have myself.
    does that make sense?

    i pray my kids arent as terrible as i was to my mother… but chances are that my kids are going to get me back TEN FOLD… that is just the way the cookie crumbles. :)

  12. What a great tribute to your mother. Happy birthday Mom

  13. DeAnna says:

    Very sweet. Hope you are enjoying your vacation, the sun and good hair days away from the wind!

  14. Anonymous says:

    What a beautiful post. Please don’t ever put anymore of my pictures on your blog. Ugh. I hate pictures of myself.

  15. HeatherPride says:

    Happy Birthday, Mom!!

  16. I’m stealing your photography skills.
    Happy Birthday Granmamamama!
    She must be a Swell Mom, seeing how you and Your Sister turned out!

  17. Aw, that is lovely. Happy birthday, Camille’s mom!

  18. Joleen Verenski says:

    I totally agree with everything you said about your mom!!! She is a wonderful aunt and someone I look up to. James also agrees with saying she is one of the awesomest people we know!!! We love you Aunt Laurelann!!!!!

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