Living Through Her Legacy

Growing up, I aspired to be like my mom. This is not a new concept to daughters of stay-at-home moms. In fact, I see it daily with my daughters who are always learning and exploring. Kendall loves to put on makeup when mommy does, she shares in my love for painting and even sits down beside me with her laptop to do our homework together. Collins is now walking, following me everywhere and copying my movements, gestures and phrases. I’m not only their mom, but their first teacher.

My mom was involved in so much – using writing not only as an outlet, but a way to share her seemingly unlimited knowledge with others. I remember being little and crawling up next to my mom in her bed. We always cuddled up with her “pink blankie.” She would write her magazine articles and I would write my ‘articles’, too. She would read me hers and I would read her mine. I was probably four or five when I asked for a typewriter like Mom’s. Santa brought me my very own typewriter that year. I could finally write my stories like a real professional, I could be just like my mom.

I can only imagine that my mom was honored to know that I wanted to be like her. As I grew older, I never stopped wanting to be like her. She inspired, encouraged and supported me in every venture I entered. I shared in her love for nature, but in my own way. I don’t need to know every detail about every flower, bird and tree like she did, but that doesn’t stop me from appreciating the beauty of a sunset, the excitement of catching a tadpole or playing with a collection of wooly worms. I am thankful that my dad worked so hard outside of the home to support our family, allowing my mom to work so hard inside the home making me feel special and loved.

As I stay at home with my two daughters and their dad works so hard outside of our home, I’ve never felt so connected to my children – or my parents. I share in my girls’ smiles and tears, we laugh together and we grow together, some days the only people we see are each other. I have a new appreciation for the trials and triumphs my mom surely endured while raising me.

I started writing stories when I was young not knowing that as I got older, I would find relief and pleasure in writing. Mom started writing for the Clinton Journal approximately 11 years ago. Her column, “Naturalist Notes,” was featured on Fridays – enlightening readers to nature-centered topics. Recently, I was given a fortunate opportunity to write my own weekly column for the Clinton Journal. Aptly named, “Living Through Her Legacy”, I am able, still, to follow in my Mom’s footsteps. I can’t help but smile as I sit here writing this, Kendall “writing” beside me, both of us cuddled up in my Mom’s “pink blankie” – knowing her legacy will always live through us.

© 2016 Lauren Johnson;

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My name is Lauren Johnson. I’m a momma of four (two littles, two bigs); a wife to the most amazing man in the world - my legit soulmate; a daughter to an incredible woman who fought a brave and devastating fight against a Glioblastoma brain tumor that took her life, and a father who fought vigilantly in the Vietnam War to protect our freedoms; and a friend to so many wonderful people that I love so very much. I have my dream job working with preschoolers, while enjoying summers off with my babes. I love life in general, but more specifically art, children, outdoors, flowers, birds, laughing, reading, learning, adventure and travel.

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