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8 Things I Learned From my Hippie Mom

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b62d0e78ec745d75e2cf9616d1ba04a56278ac6f.jpgMy mom is a brilliant woman and has lived a very jam-packed full life, one with many chapters and where she's worn many hats. However, throughout her life her greatest role has been that of freespirit mama. I've learned many lessons thanks to her carefree lifestyle.

Astrology: I mean, when you start sentences with phrases like, “Well, since Mercury is in retrograde…” and “Mars is in his 7th house…,” things start to move from normalcy to very hippish. Receiving Moon Sign books for Christmas gifts and wondering if my mail was delivered late because of how the planets and stars are positioned are common thoughts in my head. Words like ascendant, retrograde and transit were commonly used and understood in our household. Understanding astrology and appreciating the complexity of it is by far my most favorite hippie lesson my mom taught me… however, that could just be my Libra moon talking.

Plants: I know more about plants than anyone not interested in plants should EVER know. As my husband would tell you, I’m not a likes gardening/ likes plants kind of gal; and he would be 100% correct. But I do know my fair share about plants and flowers because believe it or not, my hippie mom has a degree in… Botany! You know, plant biology or the science of plant life. Really, who gets a degree in botany and does not become a botanist? A hippie. A typical day spent with my mother includes many excited outburst (from her, not me) that start with, “Do you see that tree over there? Well that’s the…” or my favorite, “Do you know what that flower is called {in Latin}?” My response is always, ALWAYS, “Why would I know that, mom?” I mean, duh. But it never surprises me in the least that we have these conversations about –ugh- plants. On the plus side though, she’s a great resource for gardening tips (for my husband'­s benefit, not mine) and has a pretty sweet backyard to hang out in.

Nature is Awesome: No really, nature is awesome! Well, at least to one hippie-dippie mom, nature is God’s greatest gift. This woman doesn’t take vacations, no, she takes field trips. Her latest trip was a weekend road trip to Mammoth Lakes, CA (a good 8 hour drive from where she lives), to do nothing but take early morning pictures of the turning leaves and to collect pinecones. Yep, she waited until this hippie website told her the exact time to go (which was like a two day window) and she went. And boy did she come back with a car full of the largest dang pinecones and coolest sunrise pics of lakes and turning leaves. She has collections of sand, leaves, driftwood, pinecones, bark (bark?), shells, coral and my favorite, sticks. Just last week, she left my house carrying practically half a tree because she wanted the branches and sticks to decorate her house with (they look especially great with all the dang pinecones).

Bad words are A-Flippin’-Okay: Ok, so my mom doesn’t swear too often (define: too often) but when she does, she goes all out. But what I love most is that she doesn’t judge others when they might slip in a naughty word or two. I’m not big on using swear words because I’m constantly surrounded by little people with great hearing and a knack for repeating. I’d call myself more of an ‘emotional swearer’, but my mom, to her they are just words used to emphasize what one is trying to convey. In true hippie form, her definition of swear words is literally, “just passionate words.” I’m much more straight laced to her hippie ways and still feel it important to earmuff my kids when using such language… but you can always count on mom to throw out a good old curse word in the middle of family dinner and not even bat an eye.

Censorship: My mom is a firm believer that we shouldn’t censor our kids and we should let them learn and grow at their own pace. If that means teaching them about sex when they’re five because they asked where babies come from (HELLO baby making!) then so be it (thanks mom). Letting your elementary school kids and their friends watch Major League and Pretty Woman as their sleepover movie makes for an open minded parent and teaches real life lessons, right? I brought this up once to my mom now that I myself am a parent and how totally wrong it was for me to LOVE these movies as a third grader, and she just laughed it off and mentioned how she thought my daughter (now 8) would love Pretty Woman. I simply replied with a huge eye roll, “No freaking way.”

Minimalism: One should only ever have enough stuff to fill the back of an old El Camino. Enough said.

Laissez-faire(ness): There was this one time I did something stupid and got in major trouble. I was 15. Well, after a minor blow up between my mom and me, and me sulking in my room and hating my life (you know, as only a 15 year old girl can), I hear my mom yell up to me and ask me to come out. I was like, “heck no!” and she was all, “I just wanted to know what you wanted for lunch and if you wanted to go with me to get it?” Ummm, was she serious? That’s the thing with my mom, even after sneaking out, getting pulled over by the police at 3:00 in the morning for driving without a license and running a stop sign, getting brought home in the back of a police car, and getting said car impounded, she was still nice and accommodating once the anger went way, which it ALWAYS did. If it were me, I wouldn’t be able to talk to my daughter for a loooong while and there would be major repercussions. But not my mom! She said I was just trying to do the right thing (which I was) and that it didn’t call for punishment. I learned early on that punishments weren’t something I would ever experience and came to appreciate her for her ability to forgive and forget so easily and for her overall laissez-faire approach to parenting.

Survival Skills: Yeah, so my hippie mom with her (not used) botany degree became a home education teacher. Why, you might ask? Because all hippies know how to make their own clothes and cook their own food, of course. So why not share that knowledge with the youth? I’d like to say I’m as good a cook as her and could whip up a pair of kick-ass PJ bottoms in 30 minutes, but fortunately, when you have a hippie mom who can, why even bother? And when she wasn’t pounding the crap out of, I mean, baking bread or crocheting –cough- another afghan, she taught me the most important lessons in life. Like never to get on the back of a motor cycle in only a tank top and bikini bottoms.

From being a freethinker and having the ability to read the stars, to showing others compassion, and respecting our earth and the beauty with which she provides, I'd say are all lessons that this very none-hippie chick learned from her very hippie mama and hope to pass on to my children in one way or another. I'm so grateful for my mom and the beauty in her hippie ways.

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