• Shannon Brault

Happy Birthday, Ma

It’s my mom’s birthday today, so in order to wish her a proper happy birthday, I’ve made a short and condensed list of 20 things she’s taught me over my nearly 20 years of life:

  1. Chocolate chip banana bread tastes best fresh out of the oven on a Saturday morning when you aren’t expecting it.

  2. You should never send a text message when you’re angry with someone, or something.

  3. You’re going to mess up in this life, it’s inevitable. What will set you apart from others is if you own up to your mistakes, apologize, learn something from it, and use it to be better in the future.

  4. Lying will get you nowhere in life.

  5. The little things in life are all around you, if you look for them.

  6. Sunrise bike rides are fun, but you should get more than three hours of sleep for them.

  7. Taking pictures during a sporting event for your kids is exhausting and a lot of work.

  8. Your heart can lie to you, your brain can play tricks on you, but your gut is always right.

  9. It’s important to show up for others.

  10. If you leave people with your soul less energized than you would have been by yourself, they aren’t good for you.

  11. If you get out of bed and do your best in whatever task it is, you’re already winning.

  12. Comparison is the thief of joy.

  13. Patience is a virtue.

  14. Not everyone in life that you trust will be trustworthy.

  15. People deflect their insecurities onto others when they don’t know how to deal with themselves.

  16. it's important to give it all you've got in everything you do but to also be forgiving with yourself.

  17. You can’t spread yourself too thin if you want to keep momentum in the things you care about.

  18. You change in life. You friends change, your interest change, etc. But if you’re changing for the better, change isn’t a bad thing.

  19. Communication is key in any relationship.

  20. People come into your life for a season, a reason, or a lifetime, and you can’t control which one it is.

On top of those 20 things I've learned, she also used to make us kids recite some poems that I have recently came across and wish I remembered in recent years of my life. My mom has always been one of our biggest advocates and will help us through all the twists and turns of life in the best way she knows how. She used to make us recite these two poems and we would roll our eyes and feel silly, but they're important for everyone to know and hear:

Imagine how happy and free I could be,

If I look myself a little less seriously-

If I laugh at my faults

Every once in a while,

And accept my mistakes

With a shrug and a smile

If I’d take little setbacks

Ans failures in strides,

And remember successes

With pleasure and pride-

Imagine how happy and free I could be

If I did all I could

To enjoy being me.

It All Depends on How you Think

If you think you are beaten- you are.

If you think you dare not - you don’t.

If you’d like to win but think you can’t -

It’s almost certain you won’t.

If you think you with lose, you’ve lost

For out in the world you’ll find

Success beings with a fellow’s will

It’s all in the state of your mind.

If you think you’re outclasses - you are.

You've got to think high to rise

You’ve got to be sure of yourself before

You can ever win a prize.

Life’s battles don’t always go

To the stronger or faster man -

But sooner or later the one who wins

Is the one who thinks he can.

Even though you hate it when I call you Ma and we don't always see eye-to-eye, I love you endlessly and I hope you have the best day and year yet. Thank you for everything you do for us today and every day and thank you for teaching me so much. You're a strong, independent woman who loves those in her life with a fierceness that puts others to shame. Thanks for always supporting us through all the good and bad times, all the drama and hardship, all the failure and triumph, all the successes and setbacks and all of the adjustments and changes in life. Thank you for being our biggest cheerleader. Thank you for protecting us when we needed it and going to bat for us when we needed someone to back us up. Thank you for looking out for us always and thank you for learning and growing with us.

I love you lots,



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