Saturday, May 12, 2012

20 things my mother taught me

My mom had her hands full! I'm middle.

When I was about six I ran away from home. Having put much thought into my future survival, I packed a lunch and fled away in my Krazy Kar (my only form of transportation) with our basset hound pup POTUS in tow. I got about two blocks. I vividly remember sitting there in a neighbor's backyard - already hungry and trying to control the dog - when my sister appeared. "You're in so much trouble," she said. And I was. I was angry at my mom for years about that. Why didn't she comfort me instead of punishing me for that not-so-little cry for help? I was angry and frustrated, and acting out big time. Where was the motherly compassion I craved?

Years later it was my turn. While I love my kids to their very cores and experience immeasurable joys in my role as mom, I found the job to me much more difficult than the job description. You are chef, tutor, chauffeur, accountant, referee, nag, maid, blah, blah, blah. Saddled with a never-ending to-do list, you can just forget about your own wants and desires, at least until they're about 18. "Just admit me to the nearest asylum," you often wish. But, of course, you can't go there, because who would make sure everyone was out the door on time for school the next morning? So I forgive my mom for not reacting the way my six-year-old self wanted her to react that day. She was working hard, we were all a team, and I was supposed to be supporting her. I also hereby apologize for the stair stomping, door banging, and numerous other stunts I pulled to gain her attention through the years. She didn't deserve any of it.

Truth is, I was blessed with a fabulous mom. The many pearls of wisdom I have gained by her example culminate into the sole reason I now consider myself a halfway decent mother: Because of her. I only hope my own children will someday come to respect me in the same way. I think they'll need to be parents themselves to fully get it.

20 Things My Mother Taught Me (about life and being a mom):

1. Kids are not the parents and mom and dad are not to be interrupted mid-sentence.

2. Read to your children before bed. Winnie the Pooh should be on continuous rotation as it contains most of life's lessons. Also, it is super cute and funny.

3. Creativity is to be encouraged.

4. The fork goes on the left, the knife and spoon go on the right. The drink glass goes on the upper left.

5. Be grateful for the things you have - from your toys to the food on the table. None of it is to be wasted, mistreated, or taken for granted.

6. Hugs are important and should be given and received often.

7. Always wear sunscreen.

8. You will not learn how to live your lives if you are given everything on a silver platter.

9. You are allowed to fail. You will learn how to do it better the next time.

10. Look it up in the dictionary. And "the car runs good" is not a proper grammar.

11. You are held accountable for your own actions.

12. Love and appreciate all things of nature, big and small. Bugs and spiders are our friends.

13. Be polite and respectful. Or we are leaving the __________ (store, restaurant, etc.)

14. Chores are important for reasons other than the chores themselves. They should be completed regularly and to the best of your ability always.

15. Take good care of yourself. Exercise regularly and show your best self to the outside world.

16. Don't steal. If you steal candy from the store we are going back there to return it and you will apologize to the store clerk.

17. Sometimes dinner is served past 7:30. Deal with it. And please set the table.

18. Write thank-you notes. Handwritten, preferably.

19. Be yourself. Be original. Be silly and goofy if you want. Show the world who you are.

20. You will always be loved.

Is my mom awesome or what???

Reference photo: Krazy Kar

1 comment:

  1. Yup, pretty awesome, but I would love to read YOUR 20, I bet they would be slightly different. Less about manners (since you lead by example and you are a wonderful example of exlemplary manners), and more about the love and nurture parts. You loved and nurtured your kids and so many others, gave my youngest a safe place to be herself and my older daughter a place to grow up outside my Motherly wings by giving her that first all important Job. You helped my son become a man along with yours by being the Boy Scout leader for our little hamlet. You, Kirsten, are an outstanding example for us all as to what a Mother should be. Now how about your 20 . . . or can you narrow it down that much? (grin)

    With great admiration. love, and sincere respect from the whole Vallier Clan.

    Heather Bridgman Vallier