Things my mother taught me

This is my mom. She's a really great mom even if she's not such a great bowler.

I've learned so much from my mom and I wouldn't trade her for any other mom. What has my mom taught me?? I'll tell you!

  1. How to be strong. My mom went through so much and she always moved forward. She put herself through college and (most) of graduate school, hell bent on making a better life for her future kids (which she totally did). She held our family together when the rest of us were self-destructing.
  2. How to truly love. No matter what stupid stupid stupid stuff my sister & I have done, she still loves us. She made sure we knew that she still loved us even if she didn't particularly approve of the decisions we were making. Her love was never lessened by our poor choices. When my sister and I would fight growing up, Mom would make us hug each other & apologize once we settled the dispute. We were never allowed to continue our anger but instead had to keep loving each other. 
  3. Always wear cute undies. The theory behind this one? Essentially, no matter how bad your day gets if you're wearing cute undies then you'll feel better. The same principle applies to more than just undies: if do little things just for you, you feel better. 
  4. To appreciate diversity. We travelled a lot growing up & one of the rules was that we never ate at a place we had back home. When my parents took us to London & Paris when I turned 11 we didn't set foot in a McDonald's. Instead we were all about the pubs in London & cafes in Paris. It wasn't just travelling where we learned to appreciate diversity. We always had to take 2 bites of everything Mom put on our plates. I learned that brussel sprouts are actually quite tasty simply because Mom required me to try it. Mom's Catholic & Dad's Jewish. Even though we were both raised Catholic, we were still taught to value other religions equally. We were taught acceptance of other religions & other lifestyles without sacrificing our own values.
  5. A love of travel. Mom taught us that there's so much more than the area we currently live in. She encouraged us to attend college out of state, to study abroad & take advantages of opportunities to experience new places. Instead of actual high school graduation presents, we were given trips to a country of our choosing (Italy for me, Germany for Kara). 
  6. To stand up for myself. When Mom was in college she bought some soup. There was something wrong with the soup. Mom sent a letter to the soup company informing them, politely, of the error. She made us fight our own battles but was always ready to step in if things were way beyond our control. Often that moment came after we would have liked it to but we learned our limits and tested our boundaries. We had to. Mom wasn't going to swoop in and save us. We were encouraged to speak up and stand our ground when things truly went wrong. We were not by any means encouraged to look for opportunities to point out mistakes. 
  7. To own up to my mistakes. I don't remember this but apparently when I was little I stole a candy bar from a store. Mom marched me back in the store,  made me return the candy & explain what I had done. I haven't stolen anything since then. No matter what the mistake was, Mom always taught us that it was better to just admit our wrongs without making an excuse. Mistakes were teaching opportunities. 
  8. How to throw a good party & be a good party guest. We always helped Mom get ready for dinner parties. She taught us how to plate the food and decorate the house. Food became a social experience. Food could also open doors. Mom taught us to never show up to a party empty handed. We were always expected to attend parties bearing food. Now that I'm over 21, bringing wine is always a good idea. Being crazy drunk at a party is not a good idea. In this way, Mom taught us to share our food with others whether we were hosting or attending the party. I developed my love of cooking for others from helping Mom cook & prepare for dinner parties from the time I was little. 
  9. To be classy. Mom taught us when to stand up for ourselves and when to walk away. She always taught us to refrain from sinking to someone else's level. Even though I struggled with the idea in the past, she always taught us to avoid slandering others. If they were truly bad people, others would notice it for themselves. We were not taught to consider ourselves better than others, just to know when to walk away from a fight with dignity.  That fits in with the party lesson as well. Having a drink or two was fine, but getting so drunk you couldn't walk or speak was never condoned. She even taught us how to fake drinking if other guests were bothering us about how little we were drinking. 
  10. How to serve. If a task needs done, Mom taught us to just step up & do it. Even if no one wants to do it, it needs to get done. She taught us to work hard without expecting compensation or recognition. She taught us that we were not too good to do any task. We had to work either in food service or retail in high school. It wasn't just the money (although that was a part of it); Mom expected us to learn to appreciate the people who do these tasks. I'm always nice to sales people, whether they're making my coffee or ringing up my clothes. Even when we disliked the task assigned to us at work or when slacking off seemed acceptable, Mom expected us to work hard and do what was expected of us. We could have fun but we still had to work hard. 
So happy Mother's Day to the best mom I could ask for.

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