When I was little, I had my own personal hairdresser. Her name was mom, and without her I’d have been doomed to ratty ponytails my entire life. Before I hit the awful teenage years, when I still didn’t have to wash my hair much, my mom would use a blow dryer to make my long blond hair smooth, shiny and soft. With a round brush, she’d curl the ends under perfectly and say, “See how nice that looks? We should blow dry your hair more often.” And even though I hated sitting still for so long, I knew she was right.
On school days, I’d let her tug my hair into fishtails and corn-on-the-cob braids, adorned with unique bows that matched my Cotton Rainbow jumpers and even my Girl Scout uniform. My mom taught me how to dress and take care of myself. It wasn’t always an easy task.
Some mornings, as she tugged different options from the closet, I’d throw a fit about having nothing to wear. My mom patiently told me I was beautiful even when I was throwing an ugly tantrum… and then she told me to shut-it and put on my clothes. As an adult, I owe her credit for teaching me confidence rooted in humility.
My mom also taught me how to host a party. Parties at our house meant preparation started a week early, with visits from the window washer and the house cleaner. China, silver, flower arrangements, food and stress arrived about 24 hours before the company did. I’d be handed the vacuum while my dad was ordered to get ice, and Scott and Allison would hide upstairs in fear.
I’m writing this as if the stressful event preparation no happens, but it still does. Now it happens at my own house too. At Easter, I began setting the table a day early and rushed to two different grocery stores for food and flowers. I handed Jonathan the mop to follow me around as I cooked. Under my breath I muttered, “He does not do anything around here,” even though he does. It’s just that in party mode, Sebek women are on a mission for excellence. I have not fallen far from the tree.
My mom passed a lot of other great things on to me- a love for travel, an appreciation for straight teeth, white wine, wedding etiquette, good books, well wrapped gifts and candles. And the best part is that my mom is still teaching me as we both grow up… she is and has and always will be my teacher in all the ways I need it most.
Thank you Mom for loving me so well.