For Mother's Day, I thought it would be appropriate to pay tribute to the woman who has been a hugely influential person throughout my life. For anyone who knows my mother, it's not difficult to see where I get most of my characteristics or how I developed such a passion for baking; I luckily not only inherited her love of baking, but also some of her talent.
Some of my earliest memories are of my mother and I in the kitchen. I would work along side her, in my toy kitchen, pretending to make miniature versions of her recipes. As I grew older, she always allowed me to help - measuring, stirring, putting a handful of flour in my mouth against her advice. She never made me feel like it was an inconvenience to have me there; perhaps that is now why I feel most at home in a kitchen.
I remember interviewing her for a school project when I was in elementary school. I can't remember now what the project was, but the questions were fairly basic, favorite colors, favorite hobbies, etc. "If you could have any job in the world, what would you want to do?" I asked innocently.
"I think if I could have any job in the world, I would want to open a bakery," she replied.
Her answer took me by surprise. I can't even remember if I finished asking her the rest of my questions; if i did, I don't remember what they were. I guess assumed she had always wanted to be a teacher. I shuffled back upstairs to write my report.
Truth be told, her answer made me sad. Maybe it was because I knew she was the best baker of all the moms at school - it wasn't uncommon for kids to offer up their entire bagged lunch in exchange for one of her desserts (Val being the saleswoman of the family quickly reaped a profit).
Or maybe it was because I knew how much she loved baking. She would already be busy in the kitchen when I awoke on Saturday mornings. While other people complained about the stress of cooking for the holidays, she relished and enjoyed the opportunity.
I have never forgotten that exchange; a simple school assignment had taught me much more than I'm sure the teacher intended. Needless to say, I have thought a lot about her answer the past few weeks as I have enjoyed the beginning of my pastry program.
So, Mummy, Happy Mother's Day. Thank you for all the sacrifices you made without complaint for Val, me and our family. Thank you for always believing me and encouraging me to follow my dreams. You are truly an inspirational woman and you have no idea how many lives you have touched with your kind and caring heart. I know you whole-heartedly focus your attention on your family and your school - you should take more time for yourself.
I love you.