One of my all time favorite things to do is go to concerts. Whether it's big, small, indoors or outdoors, I'm always down for some live music accompanied by shameless dancing. So when I found out Sam Hunt was coming to town this month, I didn't hesitate to buy tickets. I knew going into the concert that I wasn't super familiar with any of the opening acts, which meant I'd have plenty of time to do one of my other favorite past times: people watch.
If you've ever been to a concert before, especially a country music concert, you know exactly what I'm talking about. There is no shortage of cowboy boots, daisy dukes and photo shoots. Girls from age five to 25 walk around in their cutest country clothes, ready at the drop of a hat to shoot the next 10 seconds of their Snapchat story.
Typically at these events, not far behind a lot of these girls are their moms. What I witnessed at this particular concert was no exception. I saw dozens of moms walking around the amphitheater with their daughters. I watched them take selfies together. I watched them check their outfits and their hair in the bathroom mirror. I watched them dance and sing to every song, and I watched them act like they were just another one of their daughter's friends along for the ride.
As I saw them there from my back row seat and saw them act like friends instead of moms, I thought back to something my mom always told me growing up:
"I'm not going to be your best friend. I'm going to be your mom."
That might sound harsh at first, but I personally think it's one of the best principles she ever lived by.
My mom is one of those people who doesn't take too much stock into what other people think about her. That's one of the things I admire about her the most, so as my siblings and I grew up, it never worked to say, "My friend's mom lets her do this!" or "My friend's mom let's her wear that!" Those comments never got me anywhere. She never worried about what other people were doing or where other people were going. She never tried to be the cool mom. She just did her very best to be a good mom to me and my siblings.
My Pawpaw used a certain phrase all the time when my mom was a kid, and she adopted that phrase with us. She would say:
"You don't have to like me, but you will respect me."
When you're a teenager, respecting authority isn't always fun. You think it's so unfair when you don't get what you want. You think you should be the exception to the rule. You think you know what's best for you. However, as you grow up and grow out of your teenage mind, you start to realize that you don't have it all figured out. Even more than that, you start to realize that your parents might actually know a thing or two.
I took one step closer to that realization that night at the concert. I saw how important it was to see my mom as my mother and not my friend as I grew up. I gained a better understanding of why she raised me the way she did, and I became even more grateful for the benefits I've reaped from that parenting decision she made early on.
I have learned so much from my mom over the past 24 years. I've learned how to live a life that is honoring and pleasing to my heavenly Father. I've learned what it looks like to be a loving and supportive wife. I've learned how to treat others with respect, kindness and grace. I've learned how to work tirelessly and diligently towards my goals. I've learned how to have confidence in myself and to not put too much thought into what other people think about me, and I wouldn't trade learning all of that for anything.
Now that I'm an adult (or at least trying to be), I consider my mom one of my closest friends. We talk every day. She is my most honest adviser when it comes to my wardrobe, and she's always down to get coffee with me at Chick-fil-A. We are extremely close, and I truly believe that is due to the tone she set in our relationship when I was just a little kid. She wasn't my friend then so she could be my friend now, and I wouldn't want it any other way.