When I was in 6th grade, a new girl transfered to our school. Her name was Gina Beardsley and she was the coolest girl ever.
Why? Because she had like four pairs of Guess jeans. Four. Pairs. I doubt she knows this, but she was a trend setter. Suddenly everyone HAD to have a pair of Guess jeans. Myself included.
On her third day of school, and I remember it quite vividly, she donned a pair of purple high waisted, skinny jeans with an ankle zipper. I think I passed out. Naturally I HAD to have a pair. I wouldn’t survive without them! My life “literally” depended upon these purple jeans!
Surely my mother would understand how important these jeans were to my existence, right?
Um. No. She practically laughed when she found out they were $60 (remember this is the early 80s and Levi jeans were sorta the standard. Those good ol’ shrink to fit ones that were what, $25?) Actually I’m pretty sure she did laugh. My mom was not one to mask her feelings… even for a 12 year old kid who was, I’m quite certain, throwing herself on the ground in a fit of tears over a pair of purple jeans.
Well, my life went on. And a couple of years later I finally did get my first pair of Guess jeans. Thankfully they weren’t the acid washed kind. Instead I got my hands on some dandy “baggy” jeans – yes, they still had that awesome high waist and ankle zippers. AND they had blue and white pin stripes to boot! (Can you stand it!?)
Sadly I no longer have those much fought for jeans, but I do have something even greater.
Wait, what? There is something greater than 1984 Guess jeans? Yes, there is. It’s my mom’s unofficial life philosophy: take pleasure in the simple things and make do with less. She taught me to evaluate what is really important to me and to search for happiness in what you already have.
Looking back, I see that she just couldn’t understand why I wanted this pair of purple “pants” so badly. To her life wasn’t about designer jeans. They weren’t important, but what was important was being with friends and family.
In her eyes, it was more meaningful to snuggle on the couch, ride bikes, or go for a hike. (Supported by the fact that we had no T.V. until I was in Junior High. In 5th grade her idea of a family vacation was a road bike trip on Orcas Island. And I distinctly remember sliding down a mountain at the end of one of our hikes, and landing on a cactus. That’s right. I sat on a cactus.)
To this day her unofficial life philosophy is the greatest gift she could have possibly given me. I remind myself of it daily. It helps me to see beyond the craziness in our household and really focus on the simple, fleeting moments that fill my heart. Because those moments are the ones that matter.
So to my very sweet, kind, and generous mom, I’m sending you lots of love and thanks on this Mother’s day.
And to you, all the wonderful mamas of the world, I wish you a happy mother’s day! I hope it was filled with babysitting dads and room cleaning kids… maybe a mimosa and nap, too.
P.S. It’s probably worth mentioning that her “simple pleasures” attitude was not at all cool to a 12 year old. And neither was that bright banana yellow track suit she got me instead of those awesome Guess jeans that.everybody.else.had. ;)
I love this picture of my beautiful mom with my crazy kids. She was visiting here from Colorado and I tried to get a nice portrait of the three of them. Naturally they tackled her. Because that’s what a nice picture is, right?
Happy Mother’s Day, mom! I love you!