We’ve shared before that our mom was our art teacher growing up. And not just figuratively - she was our actual teacher with Introduction to Art for nine weeks in high school and she was Leighton’s homeroom teacher for all four years. Many kids probably would’ve requested a schedule change, but not us. By the time we reached high school we knew that she loved us, respected us, and valued us enough to allow us freedom to grow, but also to be there when we needed her, like on Fridays when we really just had to have that king-sized candy bar to get through the day. For this Mother’s Day, we’d like to go a bit down memory lane and share some reasons why we love her so.
When we were little, maybe four and five years old, a few friends asked our mom to start teaching little art classes in a church rec room around the corner from our house. There weren’t any other art teachers in Columbia and it wasn’t common practice at that point to have art in schools. We LOVED these classes because we knew the teacher (usually a perk), we were with all our friends, and well, it was art. Need we say more? This original “Little Art House” that never had a name, business plan, or official space stayed with us as we grew up. Whether mom knew it or not, she showed us it is possible to go it alone and create something.
Throughout the years, she remained our teacher both officially and unofficially. At home, she was a genius at creating study tricks that helped us with every subject matter including English (she has dyslexia, y’all, how did she do it?). We never realized how hard and exhausting that must have been to help us for hours after teaching all day. She somehow had energy to constantly encourage us to pursue our dreams no matter how crazy those dreams might be. When Leighton tried out for cheerleading in sixth grade, completely out of nowhere, and got the phone call that she made the squad our mom’s face went from a fleeting expression of disbelief to her exclaiming “I knew you could do it!”. She was at every game from then on out. When Emma decided she was going to participate in her first pageant during her senior year (Miss Mule Day) after most girls spend their teen years participating, or when she decided to make her own dress for prom, mom just said “Of course! What do you need?”. Let’s not forget our brother who also benefited from her optimism when she encouraged him to run for office his freshman year of high school. He was a bit shy, and seven years later he became Student Body President at Vanderbilt University.
We could go on and on with memories like this of the amazing support and faith she provided us with over the years and the example she has set for us as business owners, sisters, and teachers. To this day, we still call her to ask “how would you do this project?” or “what do you think about this idea?”. We may or may not call her multiple times a day but we assume she doesn’t mind :). To all of the mothers out there, THANK YOU. You may not hear that much when your kids are little but, if our experience is any testament, they’ll look back in wonder at how you did it all with a swelling sense of gratitude. To our momma, the beautiful Carrie Lancaster, WE LOVE YOU. Thank you for being our biggest cheerleader, study buddy, and teacher! We’ll call you in a few!