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Mothers and Fathers
One would hope that we let our mothers know we love, appreciate and care about them more than once a year. If your mother or mother-figure is still living, society’s expectations dictate that a telephone call, visit and/or gift are required at least on her birthday and one holiday that falls between Thanksgiving and New Year’s in order to be viewed as a halfway decent human being.
In addition to those important occasions, polls over the past two decades show that most calls and cards to mothers are actually given on the second Sunday in May: Mother’s Day. Not to forget our dads, we have Father’s Day every June. Whether we had great parents - either biological or some other type of legal or informal guardians - who gave us everything we needed to be responsible adults, or if we were deeply scarred by negligent parents, or just never quite grew up and are still blaming them for most of our problems at the age of 45, we have to agree that they've taught us something about life.
Why not take a moment to reflect on things that we’ve learned from the adults in our lives as we grew up and faced young adulthood? The subjects can include Home Economics, Sports, Education, Music, Business, Auto Mechanics, Fashion, Travel, Relationships…. doesn’t the list go on and on? We’re talking about life here!
One woman remembers that it was her father who taught her how to iron a shirt and polish her shoes. He also taught her some basic cutting and cooking techniques in the kitchen along with the best way to get dishes clean and sparkling. Sweeping the floor, driving a car, shoveling snow, mowing the lawn, and raking the leaves were also on the “Daddy Taught Me” list.
From her mother, the same woman said that she learned from observing her mother’s overall life patterns things about self-worth; how to speak and carry oneself as a respectable lady; what children need to thrive; how to “keep it together” and get through the hard times; how to prioritize; what true family values and loyalty are; how to balance family/work/community; what love is….It’s hard to teach such things from a book or in a classroom.
Our parents are living examples of what works in life and what doesn’t. We can see the results of certain choices they made and learn which courses had the best outcomes, which ones we should avoid, and maybe most importantly, why things turned out the way they did.
Don’t we hate it when we sound just like our parents, maybe even quoting them as we utter famous words that we swore we’d never say when we grew up? It’s bad enough when we catch ourselves in the mirror and see that we actually look like them too. Isn’t it amazing to finally fully understand something one of our parents advised us 20 years ago, or even if they’ve left this earth, their voice sometimes echoes in our mind as we recall a story they shared with us and we love their wit or wisdom?
From joy to pain and every possible emotion in between, feelings that come up when we remember the adults who molded or affected us in some way or another remind us of where we came from and why we are who we are today. Having our own children is an excellent way to stay in touch with those feelings as well.
Enjoy the spring in Georgia. We wish everyone a Happy Mother’s Day and Father’s Day!