For Election Day, instead of voting for whatever terrible candidate you had in mind, vote for my Mom instead.
It’s her Birthday today! She is turning a wizened [REDACTED LIKE A HILLARY EMAIL] years old!
- She will run on a very strong platform, pro-life! Unless I was disobeying, then it turns out she is pro-choice! (Michael-Andersen-Hays-I-brought-you-into-this-world-and-I-can-sure-as-heck-take-you-out-of-it sorta scenario.) Things have changed a bit now, as an adult she tends to give me the “disappointed mother” look, and drops one of these: (In her best Marie Barone voice) I don’t like that, Michael. Isn’t that what this country needs right now, a disappointed in you Mother glance?
- She gives really good speeches, I remember her A to Z analogy when telling me to slow things down with my girlfriend. (You guys need be at C or a D so you don’t rush to the Z). I still think about that Mom! Do you remember? There is a hilarious story here that I won’t share (probably with anyone, literally ever). But just know this Mom, sometimes you said the exact right thing, at the exact right time, even if I’ll never admit it.
- She is pro-immigration, she has moved 20 times in her life! Can you imagine that sort of adaptability she has crafted over her illustrious life? That means she has perfectly decorated at least 17 bathrooms. Failed to set up a cable box correctly in at least 4 of them. Found a way to make the trim of the kitchen match the accents on the china at a dozen times. And brought an endless amount of love to every single place she has called home. You can FEEL being in a Julie Hays house, and that is no accident. (It may however, be the distinct lack of anything Vanilla scented.)
- She is extremely bi-partisan. Forever playing a peacekeeping role in any situation she is in. Making peace between between Ben, Amanda, and I on a constant basis. Being a good Mom to all of my friends (who all have stories of your awesomeness). And always making sure we always had a place to stay, and an ear to bend, as long as we were quiet after 11p.m. Even when you were telling me it was time to move out (which was the right decision, that much I will admit, I needed a climate change).
- She is tough on Foreign Policy! Always reminding me that I needed to be the light to others as opposed to the other way around. She brought us all up on the Truth of the Bible and always, always, always, backed up her arguments with scripture. She wouldn’t even let me accept a fortune cookie’s wisdom if she couldn’t tie to a verse. She refused to let worldly thinking dictate her thoughts and actions. Unlike your candidate my Mom is truly authentic with her words and actions. As I begin to figure this parenting thing out myself, I am realizing that my Mom wasn’t just pretending to be a good example. She didn’t say something, and then turn around and do the other thing when I wasn’t looking. She lead by example just as often as she did with her words. It makes me realize, if I want to raise my children to be Christ followers like my Mom did me. I have to be so much better. I think about that a lot Mom. You’re an inspiration, and I mean that in the very literal sense of the word.
- Oh and her kids! You won’t find any Hunters or Donnys here. Pictures of perfection! You can see the critical eye for detail you’ve passed on to Ben. From noticing a plot twist in a novel, to picking up on a personal adjustment a family needs to improve. You both keen on the things that need to be noticed before anyone else, and are able to quietly and quickly make the change, or be the help, we all need. Let’s not forget your obvious mastery of the English Language has been passed down to him as well. (Not fair, I should have stolen the birthright! Where is my LAMBSKIN!)
One look through each of your houses and you will see what I consider to be masterpieces of interior design. Making small bathrooms seem spacious and living spaces feel cozy comes as second nature for you both. But what makes them feel so familiar, you can feel the Motherly love that permeates throughout. I watch Amanda with Lucas and I sometimes feel a deja vu of how I felt as a kid/teen/young adult. I had a Mom who was in my corner. Who wanted the very best for me. And would go to the ends of the earth to make sure I had what I needed to succeed. I love that you get to do that with Lucas even now. As a child I picture you two at odds all the time, and now as adults I see you two as allies united by a tremendous cause. You raised a caring/loving/fighter of a Mom because, well that’s what Amanda saw everyday.
- And Mike, well…. I’m writing this aren’t I? No one tells a story like you do, and I know you write about five times better than I. But what does it take to write a good story? I imagine a bit of empathy, imagination, child-like enthusiasm, a quick-wit, and a desire to see others smile. Which I’d like to think I got a portion of those from you, even if only in half measure. I’m just so proud to have you as my Mom. I look back at my upbringing, and I just feel so incredibly blessed. I say this sincerely when I say, I have absolutely no clue how you did it.
I love you Mom,
You’ve got my vote. Forever.