I have been famous my entire life. At least in certain circles. It's been a common occurance for people to walk up to - to this day - and say "You're Mrs. Johnson's daughter aren't you?" or "You're Coach Johnson's daughter! I had your dad for P.E.". (and generally people share how Daddy paddled them at some point as well!)
This has happened ALL of my life and I'll admit that when I was growing up this made me crazy. As you might imagine, as the daughter of two teachers, I could never get away with anything! EVERYONE knew my parents. My mom taught in one little town, my Dad in another and between them both they had 2/3 of Marshall County covered. People ask me why I never got into much trouble. Well, this would be why. This - apparently - was God's protection plan for Jan as I grew up.
I'm old enough to appreciate this now. And to appreciate my parents. As you may know, we're moving back to Marshall County, to the small town my Mom taught in for almost 20 years. We're moving right down the road from where I went to school and my Dad taught. And now I have enough maturity to appreciate the legacy my parents have. Now when people mention that my mom and dad taught them, I am proud because it's always a positive comment. They made a difference in the lives of those they taught and that's something I am extremely proud of.
Today is my mother's 66th birthday. I'm excited that we'll spend the day together as family. I love being with my Mama. She is courageous and always learning, she's spunky and full of life (I've never seen her afraid to do anything!) and she genuinely cares about people. As I became an adult my life didn't go exactly as she might have wished but she has loved and supported Phil and I even as we got married at a young age and even made her a grandmother at the age of 39. She's been a wonderful grandmother to my kids and she's always, always supported me in everything I've done.
I've loved that through the years we've camped together, explored together, gone on mission trips together, whitewater rafted together, ziplined together, and - of course - cheered on the Tide together. I love that she's taught my kids to ski, to do geometry, to skate and many, many other things. I'd like to think I inherited certain important things from her - like a life long love of learning, a compassion and care for those around me, a sense of adventure and joy about life, a yearning to always explore, and the passion to always jump into life with both feet, a deeply passionate love for all things Bama, as well as the most important - a strong faith in God.
My beautiful Mama always brings life to the party. Happy Birthday Mama!