On Mothers: An Interview with a 14-Year Old Apprentice
I am not a mother (only to my 11.5 lb miniature dachshund and my plethora of plants). With the pending holiday to celebrate the women that brought us into this world, I thought it’d be fascinating to interview Saya Barkdoll’s daughter on all things related to celebrating mothers and being mothered by the immovable force of Ohana Wellness’ owner.
Taylor is both simultaneously your average 14-year old teenage girl and the most self-aware 14-year old teenager you could ever meet. She is gregarious, precocious, authentic, and brilliantly aware that all the tough experiences she’s been through to date are what make her, her.
So, I asked her:
What does Mother’s Day mean to you?
Taylor, quite astutely, observes: if your mom is amazing every day, why in the world would you only have one day to celebrate her? She expressed her frustration about how to make one day more special than any other. How it can be hard to find something to give her mom that feels unique and different on this day rather than any other.
I think Taylor might be right – why only one day?
What is your favorite thing to do with your mom?
Here’s where Taylor embodies her 14-year-old self in the best way possible. She loves doing her nails with her mom, having girls’ nights, watching movies and tv, talking to her mom about her day and what happened at school. And here’s where Taylor embodies a much older soul than her 14 years would give away – she also loves hearing about her mom’s day, the challenges, successes, the experiences of her mom’s day.
I think Taylor might be right – when was the last time you asked your mom about her day?
Why do you think Ohana Wellness is so important?
I loved her answer. Taylor nailed the atmosphere of Ohana Wellness: she gets along with all the people who work there; even if they aren’t related to her by blood – they feel like family to her; she walks in the door and feels connected, calm, peaceful, but still able to have fun. Taylor doesn’t want us to forget that it’s okay to be loud, and to laugh, and to express ourselves, even when we are relaxing.
I think Taylor might be right – relaxing can be fun.
What’s the most important thing your mom has taught you so far?
It’s perhaps no surprise that the owner of a therapeutic bodywork wellness center would teach her daughter the following two invaluable lessons: “have patience,” and “live in the now.” But, it sticks with Taylor. She says often she’ll hear her mom reminding her to have patience or to live in the now and how sometimes she just can’t wait for dinner to be ready (she said 5 minutes!), but at the same time, when her anxiety gets the best of her, she hears her mom reminding her to not focus on the past or the future and to focus on the now.
I think Taylor might be right – dinner should be ready in 5 minutes and let’s remember the “now.”
How does your mom teach you to be a strong young woman?
It’s no secret that Taylor has had a challenging life in her young 14 years. But, she considers herself lucky – she’s only had 6 major surgeries, 2 of which were brain surgeries, she’s a medical miracle, and her mom has told her every single day that she’s a fighter. Taylor couldn’t have said it better if I tried: “All the bad things that happened to me, that I’ve dealt with, they make me, me.”
She wouldn’t change one trauma, one challenge, one experience because she knows deep down to her toes – they are what lead to greatness. Great healers, great love, great friendship, great minds. Just like her mom.
I think Taylor might be right – she is lucky and so are we.
How has your mom taught you about the aloha spirit?
Taylor’s eyes lit up at this question. You could see the fire in her belly for how passionately she feels about this. She began by telling me that no, she’s not directly Hawaiian by blood, but she feels Hawaiian down to her bones. Because to her, the aloha spirit which embodies the Hawaiian people, is in fact, all based in love. Showing love and compassion without condition, being accepting regardless of your background, the color of your skin, the blood running through your veins, what you look like, or sound like, where you came from, etc.
I think Taylor might be right – more aloha spirit.
I envy how far Taylor has come in her journey to self-actualization at such a young age. Some of us are in the thick of our journey, some of us haven’t even started, and some of us are still trying to work up the courage to acknowledge that we may need to be on one.
Taylor is a shot of lovable, affable, smart inspiration to every single one of us. It was my privilege to get to know her and I can’t wait to see her continue to grow. And, I can’t wait to see what she’ll be like when she becomes a mom.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the aloha mamas out there from all of us at Ohana Wellness!