For a month and a half I haven't been able to hug or kiss my mom. We haven't been able to get together as a family. It's just one more thing that the coronavirus outbreak has changed about my family's life. But this year, I thought I would honor my mom by telling you some of the things she taught me:

1. How to cook - When I was a kid my mom bought a set of cookbooks that had recipes from all over the world. Germany, Italy, Japan, France, and the Middle East were just a few of the country's in the series and she cooked most of the recipes from all of the books. Some of the recipes became favorites, some didn't, but she taught me how to be adventurous in the kitchen and never settle for plain old meat and potatoes.

2. How to dress - My mom taught for 20 years and she wore a skirt and heels to work every day. Her hair was always done and she always looked like a million bucks. The other teachers she taught with were always just as put together but seeing my mom get what we would consider to be very dressed up to teach a bunch of middle-schoolers showed me that you always put your best foot forward no matter what. It changes the way people see you and the way you see yourself.

3. How to stand up for myself - My mom has always been no nonsense. Don't lie. Don't cheat. Don't steal. Do your own work to the best of your ability and don't put it off to another day. And if someone isn't giving you the proper respect, demand it. You're worth it and people who deal with you should know that.

4. How to be a good person - Now this one, I admit, I struggle with. My mom is the sweetest, kindest, most generous person I've ever met. Me? Well..... I do try to emulate my mom, but it's a struggle. I only hope that as I get older I can be more like my mom.

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there!