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I inherited a framed picture taken at my grandparent's 50th Anniversary Celebration. It is in my den. Friends look at it and say, "That's you on the back row, and that's your daughter in the front." No - the woman on the back row is my mother and the 4-year old girl in front is me. The three of us look remarkably alike in the face.
The rest of us is quite different. My mom and I are both tall; over 5'6". My daughter doesn't think she will ever reach 5'3". My mom has never exercised, but she has great legs. What can you say when your 88 year old mother has better looking legs than you do? My daughter says, "I have the only grandmother who looks really good in denim shorts."
I learned how to cook from my Mom. She is a natural cook, quite fearless about trying new things. It's hard to get her recipes because while she may start with a printed card, she always adds or changes, tasting as she goes. I was a terribly picky eater as a child, existing mostly on meat and bread. (good Type O instincts on the meat; not so good on the bread) She kept patiently putting good food in front of me, and was delighted when I came home from college eating vegetables.
Another thing I learned from my Mom is how to listen. A favorite memory is coming home from school with my sister and sitting around the kitchen table telling Mom about our day. I was in high school in the late 60s and early 70s when the drug culture was sweeping across the US. I remember telling tales designed to shock at those after school snack times. Rather than lecture, she would say, "Well, what do you think about that?" or "Do you think that's a good idea?" Before long I was telling her how foolish or immature the event at school had been. I learned my best journalistic interviewing techniques not in college classes but around my kitchen table.
I learned about unconditional love from my Mom. That doesn't mean she approved of every thing I did. It means that while she tried to modify my behavior, she wasn't trying to change the real me inside. She is always supportive of my activities, always amiable with my friends, always interested in what I have to say.
The only thing I've ever known her to be afraid of is the computer. Hopefully my Dad will go onto my Blog today so I can say "I love you, Mom."
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