Effortlessly "Mom"

I believe that deep down, we all simply want to be ourselves. We want to know who we are, and we want the world to see us as who we truly are. Nowadays, with technology and the interconnectedness of the world, we are exposed to so many different expressions of self, to the point where the lines become blurred between who we truly are, and who we think we want to be. It is rare and special when you come across a person who seems to effortlessly and fearlessly live their truth in its purest form. My mom is one of those special people. 

I can just hear her laughing, brushing off this statement with a furrowed brow and a wave of her hand. It sounds so deep and new-age and mystical when it’s written down, like I’m describing a guru or yogi or life coach. In reality, my mom is just a normal woman, with an extraordinary ability to pour the light of her heart, the wit of her tongue, and the energy of her spirit out into the world. Her sense of self and quiet comfort in who she is has become so normal to me that I often skip over it, take it for granted, and forget that my mom was here, living and laughing and hurting and growing, long before I arrived, thirty-two years later, to meet the woman she’d become.

Now that I’m an adult, I look back at all my mom has accomplished, and I am awestruck. As she approaches a time in her life where all four of her kids are grown, we’re starting to build families of our own, and she is slowly pulling back from the many (MANY) responsibilities she’s taken on over the years, both familial and otherwise, I know she’s been experiencing a bit of existential anxiety, wondering what the next phase holds. But even when my mom shares those feelings of doubt or the nagging sensation that she’s lost part of her purpose, she never slips away from everything that has always made her “her” - love, laughter, gratitude, selflessness, warmth, joy, and all the best kinds of craziness. Doubt and fear are human, and the fact that she is honest about those feelings is just further testament to the fact that she is honest about who she is. I want my mom to know that no matter how much her role in the world changes, she can continue doing her part by simply being herself, as she always has. By serving as an example of what it means to maintain a sense of identity through the best and worst of times. Because my mom’s identity is pretty stunning. 

As children (yes, we are all forever-children in our parents’ eyes), I think we have the tendency to see our parents within the scope of our own lives, as the people we know them to be. Sure, you hear their old stories and take trips down memory lane at family get togethers, but do you truly honor the struggles and successes your parents experienced before your time? Do you consider what it is that shaped the parents that stand before you as you navigate your relationship with them? This Mother’s Day, I want to honor my mom by acknowledging the journey that led her to motherhood. All of the bright memories, of course, but also the deepest of losses, turned into a tenacity for living life to its absolute fullest, in honest self-expression. Before my mom became a mother, she already knew who she was. Having kids just gave her more opportunities to share that fiery spirit, and she never let the stress or responsibility of motherhood put that fire out. My mom is the one who made motherhood look easy, because she always lived by the basics: love your kids, and be there for them. I don’t think she even realized that “be yourself” was part of the equation, but she was definitely living it, and it made a deeper impact on me than my mom could ever know. 

Mom, I am confident that as you move into this new phase of motherhood (and grandmotherhood!), you will continue to let who you are shine through in everything you do, as you always have. When I look at you I see freedom and fearlessness. I see you. You are the reason I want to know exactly who I am, and continue to work for that sense of self every single day. Thank you for being my mama!

Shannon Pike
COO & Executive Brand Curator
Moderna Muse