Lessons Learned from Mom: The Gift of A Youthful Spirit


mothers and daughters

By Estelle Sobel Erasmus

When I’m asked what is the best gift I got from my mother the obvious answer was the one I wanted most not to say: my looks. I’ve been told my whole life that I look like my mother.  It is a gift, but it’s not the one I want to talk about now.

I think the true gift I got from my mother is her ever youthful outlook on life. Even in her 70s, my mother has always been up for just about anything. Want to go shopping? Sure. The movies? Ok. Out to breakfast, lunch or dinner? No problem. She treats life as a great adventure, and I think it has something to do with the fact that she was born in war-torn Poland, emigrated to the U.S. after the war, had to learn English and assimilate. She devours each new experience, with gusto always has. And surely, for those who know me, or have yet to meet me, that certainly describes my personality.

She isn’t afraid of taking risks. From starting a Yiddish department at C.W. Post College to embracing a second act career as a medical assistant (and then a teacher of medical assistants), my mom has always been up for a challenge.

A few more ways my mom exhibits her joie de vivre:

*She loves books and to read, because each time she opens a book it exposes her to a new world and new ways of thinking.

*She’s willing to get down on the floor with our four-year-old daughter and isn’t embarrassed about it. Not. One. Bit.  Whether my daughter wants to climb on the monkey bars, go down a slide, put together a puzzle or just play with her dolls my mom is game.

*She has always loved to write and even published a novel, based on her life (hint: she’s baby Marysia) called World’s Apart a few years ago. It’s a great read.

*She loves to travel and when I was a magazine editor, I took her with me once on a press trip to Michigan, where she stayed up late hanging out with the other writers and editors, and kept pace with us (even enjoying the trade gossip) till we both collapsed into our fluffy beds sometime in the early hours of the morning.

*She passionately  loves her family and her children (me and my sister Michelle), her three grand-daughters and her life with her husband of over fifty years and isn’t afraid to shout it from the rooftops.

Family cruise
Here we all are on a family cruise to celebrate my mom’s birthday last December.

Ultimately, I think it’s the sparkle in her eye, the ready smile on her face, and readier laugh as well as the need to be “seen” that gives my mother her spark for life.

I wouldn’t want to have it any other way.

Cruise photo, mom and dad

Happy Mother’s Day mom. I love  you.

What is the gift that you feel you received from your mother?

7 thoughts on “Lessons Learned from Mom: The Gift of A Youthful Spirit”

  1. Great lessons from your mom – what a terrific example she is of a positive attitude! And she’s pretty darn cute, too.

    1. Thanks so much Sharon. I love being a part of Generation Fabulous!!

  2. What a wonderful tribute to your mom! You look so much like her! I had a very difficult relationship with my mother until I was 40 yrs. old. And even today, we are not what most people would describe as close. But I would say that some of the gifts she has given me are a philanthropic spirit, a devotion to family, and a sense of humor. I am grateful that we still have her and my dad (mom will be 85 on the 16th).
    Mother/daughter relationships are complex and fascinating aren’t they? I wonder what our daughters will be writing about us someday?

  3. Estelle, thank you so much for a wonderful article. It is a great gift to me for Mother’s Day! Love always, Mom

  4. Estelle – What a wonderful tribute to your mother! Happy Mother’s Day. I can’t believe your daughter is 4 years old. We must plan a lunch. I’d love to see you and Anna.
    All the best,

    1. Thanks Patti. I know time flies…. Yes, would love to plan to get together soon.

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