happy birthday Mom (& 13 things she's taught me!)

Friday, May 23

 photo IMG_5789_zpsba50503d.jpg
Mom & I in her hometown of Nurmes, Finland, May 2012

today is my Mom's birthday. I know what you're thinking, "but it was just Sundar's birthday!" true. rumor has it Sundar was brought home from the hospital on my Mom's 30th birthday. I guess I shouldn't advertise anymore what age she's turning now, but you could definitely figure it out.

so because I skipped Mother's Day pretty much entirely on here, I hope you will allow me to brag on my mom for a minute. especially because today's her birthday and now that's just perfectly Priya tradition. *warning* cliches directly ahead!

I want to go back and clarify something I said on the blog a while ago. I quoted my mom as consistently saying "Priya, one day I hope you have a daughter just like you." as I was growing up. I received several "aww how sweet" comments about that, but what she meant was, "Priya, I really hope one day you get your just desserts and deal with a child as difficult as you" usually said after I had a brilliant/messy idea at 11 pm, or a particulary vibrant "performance", or a spirited debate at the house.

here's a secret: I wasn't the easiest kid. I'm not the easiest adult (though, family: I'm getting BETTER aren't I??) I was a "passionate" kid, I am a "thespian", I have great crazy ideas and I like things done a certain way. immediately. I've said it before and I'll say it again, literally thank God that my mom has the personality she does, or I don't think I would still be around. but, enough about young Priya, this is my mom's birthday, so let me tell you more about her.

Every day, I realize a little more just how much of a badass my mom really is (she will be HORRIFIED that I called her that & I expect an immediate text message asking me to change the verbiage. so, if it's still intact when you're reading this- thanks for being a superfan.) My mom raised seven (awesome) kids and worked full-time while doing it (how? seriously Mom, how?!) My mom has raised her voice at me one handful of times in my entire life, and has immediately apologized after. My mom is undoubtably the most patient and sacrificial person I know. I get teased because when I was little I said, "Mommy, I think I have a crush on you."
I still do, Mom!

I'm just really impressed by her. she's committed to her health, her family, her work, and probably most of all, her faith. I'm also impressed because she was wearing a swimsuit she bought when she was 15 until I stole it from her (I already said that, but I just want to say it again.)

and oh goodness, the SAGE advice that I never appreciated until I realized most of it was true. I wrote a list a while ago that I wanted to post on Mother's Day, but I'm publishing it here for your enjoyment (peppered with my own commentary because I can't not, ok?)


13 Things My Mom Was Right About

1. You don't have to wash your hair every day. Mom was saying this long before not washing your hair was trendy. I thought she didn't know anything. now I try to wash my hair once a week.

2. "Everybody already has everything." says Mom, while taking me to buy my friends birthday presents. This used to drive me CRAZY. but oh my gosh, this is true. another takeaway from this- give someone a gift that involves an experience (tickets, a treatment, a trip, etc.)

3. "The part that's coolest is inside of you." Verbatim, friends. Did I mention English was not her first language. This is funny, but I remember writing this down after she said it, because I didn't want to forget it.

4. Going to bed early is just fine. Mom goes to a church where women don't preach, but if she could preach, THIS IS WHAT SHE WOULD PREACH. When I call her after 9 (CST) she will without fail end the conversation by saying, "well Priya it's getting late, you should probably be getting to bed." Mom, you cutie. I'm an adult. But seriously though- isn't sleep just the remedy for everything?

5. "You can't do everything." this also used to drive me crazy. Mom wasn't a tiger mom, and Pappu kids were limited to extracurriculars. but ultimately, I think this helped us excel. otherwise- this is great general advice. you can't do everything. give yourself a break. don't be afraid to say "no" to people.

6. "Modest is hottest." Mom has never actually said these words (how funny would that have been?) but growing up, modesty was required from me & my sisters. I had to fight really hard to get my first two-piece swimsuit/spaghetti strap tank/mini-skirt. luckily as the years progressed (and I am the youngest girl) the standards were slackened a little bit. but I do still own a classy one piece (now 2) that she bought for me, and I won't forget, that modestly is the hottestly way to dress (work with me.)

7. Don't show up empty-handed. not always easy or convenient to follow. but people absolutely DIG IT these days when you show up for a party/sleepover/appointment and you've brought something to contribute. Mom used to give me Finnish gifts to take to people, but hey, unless you're going to Kimye's wedding this weekend, that's probably above & beyond.

8. There's nothing wrong with a little dessert. preach, Mom. take care of yourself, no doubt, but for goodness sakes, don't deprive yourself. going home now means I will be having the coffee and coffee cake and cookies and Ferrero Rocher, please & thank you.

9. The library ROCKS. thank you Mom, for dropping me off at the library and always encouraging me to read. I refuse to say "thank you" for getting rid of our cable because I really missed out on MTV in the 90's, but it was good reading time, for sure.

10. You don't have to be skinny to be healthy. I cannot help but observe the relationships other girls have with their mothers. my mom is not remotely concerned about fashion (which...that could've been cool) but I am SO thankful to have a mom that never made me feel bad about my weight, what I was wearing, or how I did my hair/make-up. she has always made me feel good enough.

11. Hiking is fun. used to hate it, now I love it. 'ppreciate ya, Mom!

12. "No one can tell you you're wrong if you tell them how they made you feel." I went through something, once. at first I was worried to talk to my mom about it, I was afraid she would be disappointed and not side with me. but she rocks, remember? take that advice to the bank. and meanies, put that in your pipe and smoke it.

13. Thrifting is magical. Mom is opposed to magic, so she didn't say this exactly. but she would take me thrift shopping, back when my clothes were only cool if they came from the mall. wow- she was so right about this!


and so, happy birthday Mom! I wish the very best day for the very best lady. I love you! also as soon as I have a kid get ready to live with me for the first...12 months.

(btw- May is a birthday month for Pappu's. stay tuned next week for my Dad's bday post, on the 28th.)

[more birthdays? Coren // Tarif + Amir // Sundar]

ONE last thing, seriously: when I published Sundar's post my mom texted me and said, "What happened to the capital letters when you start a sentence?" I say, "Haha just being cool, punctuation is for squares" she says, "I like the look of punctuation, call me square if you like :)" sorry Mom, you square! 

14 comments :

Ree said...

Yup, that's the Arja I know and love. A superhero, for sure! And you weren't kidding about you wanting things done a certain way immediately. I marvel at your mom's patience and accommodating spirit every time I see your old room and think about the Christmas eve you decided it needed to be painted purple--that day!

nicole s. said...

oh, moms. this post made me so happy and i giggled sooooo much. your mom sounds like a treat. my mom is not an immigrant, and english is her only language, but she still has some hilariously nonsensical quotes to live by. also, 12 is one of the most important pieces of advice in the world. it's something i talk to the people who contact me at work about a lot. if you focus on how you felt, instead of what someone did, they can't argue with you or deny those feelings. so productive!

you have the sweetest little family. can't wait for dad's day next week!

xo nicole
writeslikeagirlblog.com

Sara Strauss {Sincerely, Sara} said...

This is so cute!! Mom's definitely tend to be right about everything, even if we don't want them to be!! Happy birthday to your mom!
~Sara
Sincerely, Sara

tapeparade said...

Oh Priya this is the sweetest post I have ever read! I absolutely love "Modest is hottest", I'm pretty sure that's my new life motto. XXX

Lauren @ Exploring My Style said...

Your household sounds like a fantastic place to grow up in. How is it that Mom's can be right about so many things. I feel you on the having to fight really hard to get my first two-piece bathing suit and pants that weren't baggy (didn't get that one until I was 18). I dress pretty modestly now anyway but that's a hard thing to fight when every other girl is dressing a certain way. Oh, and libraries totally rock! Although we still had cable, I spent much of my childhood with my nose inside a book and as I got older would go myself or take my younger brother with me. I go in and out of reading phases and honestly, haven't read much since starting the blog (it's SO much work) but I wish I could get back into it. Your mom sounds so sweet and I really loved this post. Maybe I can meet your family one day, or maybe I've already met a member of your large family growing up and didn't even realize it!

Kristian said...

Your mom gives out FANTASTIC advice :)

Alexa said...

This is such a cute post! you and your mom are adorable and I totally see the resemblance :) Moms always give the best advice don't they? My mom was the one who told me you don't have to wash your hair everyday and I don't! happy birthday to your lovely Mother!! hope you're doing well Priya

Alexa <3
http://sleepeatbreathefashion.blogspot.com

Priya said...

For the record- that room is still a beautiful purple! Thanks for your Auntie Ree, I'm sure Mom will enjoy it too!

Priya said...

thank you Nicole! It was one of those things she told me over the phone that I've thought about a lot, and still remember to this day. Yay for Moms!

Priya said...

thanks so much Laila! it's a good one!!

Priya said...

agreed, and it's definitely infuriating sometimes! thanks Sara.

Priya said...

thanks, Lauren! Looking back, it definitely was, though I didn't always enjoy it as much at the time. Interesting that you were brought up with similar modesty standards. Chances are you have met at least one person in my family at some point, haha. But YES next time we are both in the Bay, we have to make it happen. Maybe Thanksgiving/Christmas??

Also, I don't read nearly as much anymore either. I agree, feels like my free/downtime is taken up by the blog! But I joined a book club at work and that has helped a lot.

Priya said...

thanks Kristian, I agree :D

Priya said...

thank youu Alexa! they certainly do.