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Photo courtesy of Daniel Esquibel

Elyssa Koidin's picture

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When I was about 10 years old my mom went to a hair salon appointment and came back with the same exact haircut as me—a chin-length bob that curled under. I was horrified! I wanted to be an individual. I wanted to march to the beat of my own drum. I did not want to be constantly compared to my mom.

“Oh you are clearly Jill’s daughter!”

“You and your mom are practically twins.”

“You sound and act so much like your mom!”

These were things I constantly heard and quite frankly I had had enough of it.

Fast forward twenty years later and when someone says, “You are so much like your mom” I look at it differently. I am beginning to realize what that really means.

My mom first and foremost takes care of the people she loves most. She is the primary caretaker of our family, both immediate and extended. She is the person that even my friends call when they have a medical question or want to know the proper wording of an invitation. She makes sure we always remember a cousin’s birthday and is the first person to reach out when a friend is in need. When her closest friends have had medical emergencies she arranged meals, visits, doctors visits, and entertainment. She is my shoulder to cry on and will make me laugh when I need it most. She also is the person I have on speed dial for my many questions in life: “What temperature do I cook the brisket at?” “Do I really have to wear tights with that dress?” “Did I sound weird in that radio interview?” I know she fills this role for a great many people in her life. She is an excellent mother, grandmother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, and neighbor.

My mom is an involved activist (even though she would never in a million years call herself that). She wants to better her community and the world around her. Ever since I was a little girl my mom was involved in Town Hall meetings, school boards and various local committees. I caught the political bug early as a little girl playing dolls under a table while my mom attended School Committee meetings. She spoke out and raised her children to do the same. She practiced lessons of charity, activism, and basic fairness in her every day actions. She taught me and my brother to stand up for the little guy and to help those in need. Through her actions she taught me to use my voice to help those around me.

My mom taught me that sacrifices are necessary for raising a family, but finding time to bring yourself joy is also important. This is an important lesson for women to learn. While my mom worked my entire life, it wasn’t in the profession of her training or original choice (microbiology). Instead she chose a career as an office manager in my father’s dental practice so she could have flexibility with her career and be home when her kids needed her. She made a point to have hobbies and interests outside of her family including reading, gardening, town politics, traveling, gourmet cooking, and art. My mother is a well-rounded individual with a strong interest in learning new things. She might have sacrificed professionally for her family but she also made sure that her kids saw her taking part in activities that were separate from her family life; ones that she enjoyed just for herself.

My mom is a very good person—you might say she is the best person I know. Now when someone says, “You are so much like your mom” I take it as a strong compliment.

Happy Mother’s Day Mom!! I love you!


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