I am a devoted friend, a loving daughter, and a supportive sister.

I am not, however, a mother.

At 20-years-old I’m still figuring me out, finding my own little place in this big world. But when people meet my mother, they make the connection.

There’s no denying it: I am my mother’s daughter.

Left: my mom // Right: me

We’re incredibly alike at heart – always the one to leave little gifts for friends or pick up the phone to check in when someone’s hurting.

She taught me how to encourage people, to love them through the little things in big ways – even when that’s just writing a quick note to show they’re on my mind.

My mom is incredibly involved at church and is always the first to volunteer to help. She works full-time while homeschooling my three younger brothers. She serves on different committees and I honestly don’t believe that she sleeps.

She’s shown me what it means to dive in and dig in. She balances so many plates without letting anything fall.

When I have a bad day or a big test coming up, I can count on my mom to text me. Spanish isn’t her thing (at all) but she pretends it is, just so she can text me before a test and connect with me. Half the time she doesn’t even know what she’s saying, but she tries and I notice. When I get a good grade on a hard test or when I’m chosen for positions on campus, I know she’ll be most excited for me.

My mom is my biggest cheerleader. I’m entering my third year of college and we’re still twelve hours apart, but sometimes it’s like she’s in the room. I know the way she speaks, how her voice rises with certain phrases.

A few weeks ago I found out that I’ll be editor of a publication at my college this next year, and when my mom found out she messaged me saying, “SHUT UP!!! No way!!! That’s so awesome!”

It was like she was sitting across from me. The distance faded because I could picture her expression, hear the words as if they came straight out of her mouth. Our relationship is one filled with talk of food and awkward funny moments through texting.

No matter the distance, my mom is my mom. We don’t always get along and we’re both incredibly stubborn, but so much of who I am is because of her.

I don’t always say thank you – and your children might not either – but we’re watching and we’re learning by how you live your life.

I went through that stage of thinking the most “uncool” thing would be to turn out like my mother, but now when people meet my mom and say we’re so alike…

It’s a compliment.

My mom is hilarious and pretty cool, and that’s good with me because I am my mother’s daughter.