Women with beautiful souls

Lois Mae

"When I stopped seeing my mother with the eyes of a child, I saw the woman who helped me give birth to myself."

-Nancy Friday

As I grow older, I can fee it more and more. That dreaded thought that there is truth to the claim that every woman becomes their mother. The funny thing is, the dread isn't there anymore. It has become more of a hope. My mother is a beautiful soul. Her heart is open and her love is endless. Any time I wanted to do something, she supported me. Through my shoe polish black hair stage and piercing my ears with safety pins to my dreams of being a motorcycle mechanic with knowing nothing about engines, she's been there and let me be me the whole time. I know I can count on her for anything and I aspire to be even half of the mother she is one day. She's devoted her entire life to my sister and me. We didn't always have it easy. There were ups and downs. Moments when "life is so unfair" was shouted at the top of my teenage lungs probably every other day of the week. But she held on and she is the reason I am the person I am today. I couldn't ask for better parents. Their love and care is the strongest thing I know. We joke around a lot in my family. There are a lot of stories that involve my mother's incredible grace. And by grace I mean her unbelievable knack for injuring herself with herself. Like the time she staple gunned her hand or got her fingers stuck in the clothesline.

There is one story in particular that always makes me laugh. I must have told it a million times. I was in Old Navy and I was probably about 13. We had a sweet turquoise station wagon when I was younger, so my parents always let us cart around the neighborhood wherever we went. My mom was outside waiting for me while I paid for whatever I was getting. My sister and our entourage were outside waiting with her. My mom tends to get anxious and a little crabby when she's in a hurry and things aren't going fast enough. She started huffing and walking around asking herself what the hell's taking so long. Finally, she decided to turn her pacing into action and come in to find me. The problem is that the door she tried to walk through was actually a window and walked full force into the glass. Needless to say everyone who was waiting for me were in tears by the time I came out and the elegant move was reenacted over and over and over throughout the rest of the trip.

I could tell you countless stories about the brilliance of my mother. Not the brilliance in her clumsiness either, but moments where she shined as a person and a mom. Every note and good luck chunky for track meets, every long drive to soccer games and hours studying for the Pennsylvania bee with me. My mother never let me down. She always wanted me to succeed and she does everything she can to ensure that I do. There is no length she wouldn't go for my sister or me. But part of what keeps our family going through all the ups and downs is the humor in our crazy, unique, flawed, and beautiful lives together.

So let me have it. Share your favorite stories about your mother with me and tell me why you think she'd love to win a photoshoot for Mother's day.

Contest guidelines:

Send me a story about your mother or the mother that you would like to enter. It can be funny, sad, endearing, or any other kind of story. Please keep the stories under 1000 words. Then, let me know why you feel she should win a free photo shoot and what kind you'd like to give her. Surprise photographs of family members or a shoot that she will be included in. Send all entries to gabriellesmarr@gmail.com and use the email title "Mother's Day Photography Contest"

Please remember to include your name, age, a bit about the mother and family you are entering for, email, phone number, where you're located, and any other information you feel is important.

One grand prize winner will receive an hour long on location photo session with an 8x10 print of their favorite image from the shoot and a disc with 5 fully edited high resolution images ready to print.

Shoot options include surprise session for your mother, a photo session to create surprise photographs to present to your mother, or a photo shoot for the whole family.

All submissions must be received by Thursday May 9. The winners will be announced on Friday May 10! Stay posted to see who the lucky winner is!

Please share this contest with anyone you feel would be interested. Any questions, feel free to email me! Happy writing!

walking on water