I love how my mom has always been interested in learning. She's taken all sorts of different classes and learned many talents and skills. I thought it was great when she was studying to become a phlebotomist (a person who draws blood.) She needed a volunteer to practice on and being young and unafraid of needles, I agreed, but at the cost of one roll of lifesavers (or other vending machine treat) each time I went! (I'm not sure that would be legal nowadays, but I'm glad it was okay back then!) By the way, she was quite good at it. I don't remember any pain or discomfort from it.
Not only does my mom love to learn, but she also loves to explore new places. While I was growing up I can remember going to all sorts of interesting places. An old gold mining town, a place with huge dinosaurs, the Redwood forests, a beer factory (!), campgrounds, and lots of yummy hole-in-the-wall restaurants. When my mom comes to visit she invariably wants to go and see someplace/something new, which is a lot of fun! We've visited Williamsburg, Virginia, gone to a children's museum, done a tour of the Toyota plant down in Kentucky, visited Amish country in Ohio, travelled to Seattle, and are looking forward to other adventures in the future. (And none of this includes the many, many places she's visited on her own or with my other siblings!) She's taught me to look around and explore where I live, as well as any places within driving distance.
She has a zest for life that I envy. I also wish I had inherited her fearless and independent spirit. She's always been able to take care of herself and if she's ever been afraid to go somewhere by herself I've never known it.
My mom is also one of the only other people I know who is as adventurous an eater as I am. We will try just about anything. And it's so much more fun to try new stuff with someone else! I get a great love of food from both sides of my family, but my mom wins for teaching me about the greatest variety of foods. (Oh, and did I mention that she's also a good cook??!)
My mom is pretty amazing. I wish I got to see her more often. I've got another ten months to wait, but she'll come out for Aimee's graduation and then we'll go find some more cool stuff to do! (We're already putting places on the list!)