So, I'm back and this is more than a bit premature, but after the past few days, I need to make this blogpost. I realize not everyone is as lucky as I am, but I don't feel like it is up to someone else to teach our children how to be good human beings.
Here it goes:
To my mom:
I don't often take the time to say "thank you" for the small stuff. You know, the stuff like leading by example, teaching me to cook, bake, sew, file taxes, balance a budget, live on a budget, respect (like how I slipped that in there?), compassion, understanding, and love. I realized the other day (after watching a video on FB about how the schools should be teaching our children this stuff) that I learned how to be a woman from you. From putting on my make up and picking an outfit suitable for "going to town" to showing people respect even when they don't deserve it, I learned it all from you. Now, if you saw me today you may doubt you taught me anything (I arrived at work set to clean. I am sporting pigtails, sweats, an old ratty hoodie, and no make up. Then, I was informed I had to make a run to the bank...as in go inside and interact with people...sigh).
|I was 11 days old here. Those boys would grow up to be the only big brothers I ever knew, even though we were cousins.|
You gave me a love of books. Maybe it was by accident because you wanted to have 30 minutes to get ready without a baby crawling up your leg. Maybe it was intentional. However, it was meant, I appreciate it. My love of books led me down the rabbit hole with Alice and stumbling into Wonderland, into the Swiss Alps with Heidi, into Yorkshire with Dr. Herriott, and down the banks of Plum Creek with Laura Ingalls. That love led me to create my own worlds and share them with people around the world! It gave me a dream! While I've stepped back so I don't overwhelm myself, I get to live that dream every time I sit down to my computer.
Your love of cooking and baking has led me down some different culinary paths. I've become quite proficient at Asian cooking. I'm not afraid to try different things because you gave me the basics. I've become more daring in my flavor combinations and am not afraid to combine my savory with my sweets (on occasion you may get a taste of heat from chiles in my chocolate cake or cocoa in my pot of chili, salt in my caramel, black pepper in my pumpkin recipes...). I can make a meal for one or 40. I can make it as fancy or rustic as is proper. You taught me fractions! Oh gods, I thought those things would be the death of me! Now, I do it in my head!
As we've discussed recently, I wasn't an easy child. I had a will of my own and seldom wanted to heed the advice of others. I am impatient and frustrate easily. There are times when I don't follow through on something because I simply get so overwhelmed. I always have more irons in the fire than I can deal with. Finishing one task before starting another is something I never learned. It would be nice to focus on one thing at a time. Unfortunately, my mind doesn't allow it. My teen years were fraught with arguments, but we always worked it out in the end. Mistakes were made on both sides, but by your example, I learned to say the words "I'm sorry!"
You taught me to keep a clean house, though my anal retentivness goes beyond most. You taught me to sew a button at such a young age. I even take the extra buttons and tuck them in a button box for my "just in case" days. You taught me to mend holes in clothing instead of simply tossing the clothes in a rag pile. I remember my first job at the truck stop and having to file taxes. I sat at the dining room table and filled out that 1040EZ asking you about every single line. I was so proud of myself. I now let a company do them, but I fill in the blanks :) You taught me how to grocery shop. There are very few name brand products I purchase. You taught me how to live on a budget and how to save for the important things. Some people in my life (you know who you are) think I'm cheap. I prefer the word "frugal". And on that same topic, you taught me the difference between "I want" and "I need". I will overthink a purchase for months before deciding on making a purchase. (How bad do I need this? If I wait for a bit, will it go on sale? How often will I use it? Will I use this more than once a year? Is it absolutely necessary? Can I use it for more than the one thing it is intended for? Will I be able to find it cheaper somewhere else? Is this something I can find at a discount store/Goodwill/St. Vinny's/Salvation Army/Re-store/ garage sale/ flea market?) In turn, you taught me how to let go of things. You made sure I didn't become a hoarder who holds on to things that she has no use for. I hang onto the things that matter. You taught me how to make a home on the simplest of budgets.
|You can't tell where I get my sense of humor, can ya?|
For all of these things (plus my goofy sense of humor) and more, Mom, I say "Thank you from the bottom of my heart!" My experiences may have molded me into who I am, but you, YOU, showed me how to handle the shit Life throws at me with grace, faith, and a smile.