We get on the plane.
After a week on the road for work, Mum, Hakavai and I are finally on our way home.
“Mum, where are our seats?” I ask.
“How should I know?!” Mum replies in a haughty tone.
“Um…. you’ve got the boarding passes.”
She peers down through her glasses (bought at the chemist down the road). I can tell she still can’t read what seat numbers we have.
“Here, give it to me” I say.
“No” she says huffily. As if to prove to me that she can indeed read, she makes the following announcement in her boombox supersonic circus ringmaster voice.
“Masterrrrr Hakavai Hoskin – seatttttttt 25aaaaaaaaaaa!!!”.
The other passengers jump, startled by Mum’s announcement.
We move to our seats and while I get Hakavai settled, I realise Mum has spotted a new friend in the flight attendant (not the same one that she was talking to earlier, the one she thought was Polish but was actually from Serbia).
I tune into their conversation in time to hear her playfully admonish him “I’m not from New Zealand, I’m from Tahiti!”. Her face has that focused intensity I recognise well.
“That is fascinating, Madam”. His body language, tone of voice and lack of any expression indicate that he is anything but fascinated. “Ah, so where is that?”, he displays a modicum of polite interest.
“In French Polynesia of course! Everybody should know where French Polynesia is!” (Because of COURSE everyone should know the exact location of some islands sprinkled around the Pacific Ocean ?).
“My uncle was president of Tahiti. Three times!” she exclaims with a knowing smile.
(I’m still not sure if this is factually correct as Mum seems to find an ancestral connection to almost everyone from Tahiti).
“Ahhhhhh” … he shoots me ‘Help me!’ eyes and I pretend to be busy reading. I want to see how this is going to turn out, you know?
“Yes!” she proclaims. “Us Tahitians, we’re proud of our culture!”
Then, just as I see her draw a big breath, ready to launch into her next verbal barrage, there’s an announcement over the PA and the flight attendant’s shoulders sink in relief.
“Please excuse me Madam, we’re about to take off”.
“Oh! No worries darling!” She stands to kiss him but he is already moving quickly down the aisle.
“Māuruuru Māuruuru roa!” she calls after him, quickly adding “That means Thank You in Tahitian!”.
Yes. She’s enthusiastic, my Mum. Vibrant. Warm. LOUD. Proud.
She’s taught me many things over the years, but being loud and being proud? That’s something she exudes every single day.
It’s interesting to me because I know that a lot of people have trouble being proud of who they are and what they’ve achieved. In fact, this is one of the first things I deal with in School of Champions!
So, today, I want to know:
What have you done, or are doing, that you are proud of?
Are you a good friend, do you make a great chicken curry, have you got through a difficult time, did you smash a big project at work, are you proud of your kids, are you working towards something that matters to you?
Right now, wherever you are, write a quick list of things you’re proud of.
Just pick three things – big or small. Things that you’ve done, or made happen, things that you’re awesome at!
And if you’re struggling, ask a friend or loved one to help you.
Trust me, even if you can’t see it at first, there is so much you can be proud of right now.
If you don’t believe me, just spend 30 seconds with my Mum!
PS – I’d love you to share one thing from your list in the comments below. We get lots of visitors here, and your small contribution might spur someone else to recognise something they’re proud of in their own life.