I am a lucky girl. I could make a long list of all of the reasons why this is true and at the very top would be the fact that this woman is my mother. You don’t realize when you’re kid that you’re seeing the world largely through your parents eyes, but when it sunk it that the rest of the world wasn’t just like my family, underneath the adolescent “how come my Mom doesn’t let me x, y, z”? was a deep feeling of gratefulness. Like I must have done something pretty great in my last life. My Mom showed me that the world was beautiful and exciting and filled with wonder. That the littlest things can bring the greatest joys. That everyone and everything has value. She has always believed that I am the coolest person she knows and that I am capable of absolutely anything. I’ve also learned that the really big things that seem scary are not, but that daily anxieties (driving in traffic and over bridges, conflict with people you love, bugs) are what are more likely to trip you up. The more years go by, the more I realize that so much of the way I see the world has been shaped by this woman and for that, I am grateful.