At some point I realized that my mom is different from most other moms. When I was nine years old the two of us went on our first trip to Europe together. She was presenting a technical paper in Lugano, Switzerland, and she was the only female presenting in a roomful of men.
Years later when I was in junior high, my mom pulled me out of school to take me to a talk she was giving in Wales. While my mom was busy at the conference, I went on “spouse” trips with the wives of the other presenters. Even at a young age, I knew my mom was in a class of her own.
My mom gave me a lifelong interest in travel and ancient civilizations. She planned all the early trips in my childhood that instilled a lasting love of adventures, new experiences and different languages and cultures.
During all of our trips my mom was eagerly at the front of the tours, hanging onto every word from the tour guides' mouths, eagerly asking questions and then discussing with me the historical importance of the places we visited. My mom is interested in people and trying new things, and is always up for an adventure. I think this rubbed off on me.
My mom is one of the most efficient people I know. For many years she juggled working full time, raising two kids, supporting her husband and taking care of her aging parents. As a child, I thought that this was normal and that all moms did this, but as I got older, I realized that my mom has a superhuman capacity for multitasking.
Whenever I have an issue that I need to resolve, whether it’s personal or work-related, my mom always has great ideas and alternate ways of approaching the problem. She consistently makes me feel better and provides an optimistic, practical point of view that I have come to greatly value.
She also has a great laugh, and often when she is watching television late at night, I hear her in the living room laughing to herself.
To sum up: My mom is active, moves fast, leans forward, gets stuff done and does it in a spunky, spontaneous way. She has been a strong role model for me and by watching her, I learned to be independent, diligent and open-minded.