It's November and as Thanksgiving approaches, so many are talking about things for which they are thankful. I'm thankful for many things, but this year I'd like to share my thankfulness for my mother, or Lovey Mom as I call her.
My mother is the wisest person I know.
Over the years, I have shared my mother's wisdom with friends and I think they would agree; she's phenomenal! Not only is she wise, but she is loving and I can't imagine how different my life would be if I didn't have the knowledge of her unconditional love.
When I look at myself and how I choose to live my life, my mother's mark is everywhere. Concepts and truths which I use in my day to day life can be directly traced to lessons she taught me as a young child. They are simple and practical lesson but the way she conveyed these concepts was creative, immediately effective and unforgettable.
1. Remember to Share.
I must have been about 5 years old when the concept of sharing became very real to me. I was playing with a fascinating toy (which I think was called moon sand, but it's not like the moon sand of this generation). There was blue and white "sand" between Plexiglas and it would swirl and swirl. No matter which way you turned it, the colors wouldn't mix. While I was playing in mesmerizing silence, one of my sisters asked if they could play with it......to which I said, "no". When my mother heard me say no, she warned me that I should remember to share. When I didn't heed her sage advice, she took action. My punishment was that I would have to carry that toy with me for the rest of the day.
At the beginning, it was fine and my 5 year old logic thought I had gotten the better end of the deal.......that is, until I grew tired of the moon sand and moved to something else more fun. When that would happen, there was my mother, moon sand in hand saying, "Heather, you forgot this" and back into my hands it would go. Every time I would leave it, there was Lovey Mom to give it back to me. It was held through meals, in the bathroom, wherever I went until it was time for bed. And there's where the lesson entered the picture. As I was allowed to finally put the moon sand down and I got into bed my mother quietly and lovingly said, "I know you got very tired of playing with just this one toy today, but the next time someone asks you nicely if they can also play with something, remember how you feel right now and you will have an easier time sharing." She was right.
From that point on, every time I was tempted to NOT share, I would remember that day and, suddenly, sharing didn't seem like such a bad option. Not only did this impact my childhood, but it's something I continually use as an adult. It helps me to have the compassion to help others. To share of my time, talents, manpower, etc.....with friends who need it.
Thank you for making me carry the moon sand all day, Lovey Mom!
2. Don't Hit!
Many of you know my sister, Melissa and I are just a year apart, so our whole childhood is kind of a tandem memory. We shared a room for 14 years and over those years, many disagreements would arise. During one such disagreement when I was 6 and Melissa 7, I told her to suck my big toe (this was a big deal, because the use of the word "suck" was risky in and of itself). Melissa said, "okay" and I promptly pulled off my sock and, like an idiot, stuck my toe in her mouth. That's when everything started to spiral out of my control. Melissa bit down and in my shock, I rared back, open palm ready to strike in order to gain liberation for my big toe! And.....that's precisely when my mother walked in.
Although I didn't land a blow on my sister, that was of no importance to Lovey Mom. The intent was there and that was enough to spur her into action. Being the wise mother that she is, she knew there was blame on both sides of the equation, so the punishment was to be shared between us. She made us stand, facing one another just a little less than an arms length away and began to teach a powerful lesson. She grabbed Melissa's hand and made her make a fist and she said to her, "I want you to take your fist and hit Heather as hard as you can" and then she dropped Melissa's hand and grabbed mine and made me make a fist and said, "after she hits you, I want you to hit her as hard as you can". She dropped my hand and continued, "and I want you to take turns hitting each other until you fall down!"
At this point Melissa and I were in tears, thinking our mother had gone off the deep end. Wanting us to hit each other on purpose? That was unheard of! When, through our tears, she heard us say we didn't want to do that, she said, "If you don't want to hit your sister, don't raise your hand". Again, she was right. And I am a pacifist.
Thank you Lovey Mom for teaching me to solve problems with words, not fists.
This blog would be too long if I listed all the wonderful things my mother has taught me and the valuable advice she has given, but I wanted to share a couple of them as a way to show how very blessed I am.
Thank you, Lovey Mom! Thank you for telling me you'd take me with you if you ran away! Thank you for all you are to me. I love you!