Ten on Tuesday: Things my mom taught me

I was so excited when I found out that Carole had picked 10 Things My Mom Taught Me as today’s Ten on Tuesday topic. Since we’re coming up to Mother’s Day, it’s perfect timing and since my mom has taught me approximately 10 million great things, this should be an easy one.

  1. What unconditional love is. No one loves as hard as my mom, and she is always an amazing support for me.
  2. That although I am the center of her world, I am not the center of the whole world. She told me that while she would drop everything and do anything for me, that I should not expect that from anyone else. This is something I think a lot of people could benefit from learning. The world doesn’t owe me or you or anyone anything – it’s our responsibility to put good stuff out there. Which leads to…
  3. Do the best that you can, and be the best person you can be. My mom has always told me that it is my responsibility to do the best I can in everything. That at the end of the day, you can only be judged on the fact that you gave everything your best shot – from work, to school, to helping others, to being kind.
  4. That we have so much, and it is our responsibility to give to others with less. My mom is a powerhouse when it comes to this. I grew up in a very nice small town that preferred to ignore that there were many in the community in need. My mom worked at the school, and knew that wasn’t true. She single-handedly pulled together a food and gift drive of a proportion that would blow your mind, and was a one-woman show for 10 years. And she did hundreds of little things, like buying shoes for kids who came to school in shoes that were barely in one piece, and providing other necessities as she saw the need, all through the year. This made an incredible impression on me at a very young age. I have never forgotten the relief on people’s faces as they realized that they could have a real Christmas with a turkey and gifts. It made me want to be a better person. I am doing my own little contributions here or there, but I hope to one day find a way to make an impact like my mom.
  5. That you can completely fill something you make with love. I have so many things that my mom made me that I completely cherish. There are traditional things like blankets and holiday decorations, and also things like holiday dinners for the family (totally filled with love) and even down to a little lunch sandwich and a thermos of coffee.
  6. How to knit. Since I grew up to start a knitting blog, this was obviously influential. My mom taught me all kinds of crafts (and I still dabble in many of them), but knitting is what really stuck with me. I still remember the Christmas after she taught me that she bought me a full complement of tools – needles, stitch markers, row counters – and it was truly my gateway to never stopping. Here we are, somewhere in the ballpark of 12 years later, and I can’t imagine my life without knitting and the joy and friends it has brought me.
  7. One quality piece is worth more than a 100 cheap things. You generally get what  you pay for, and it’ll be worth your time and money to own that one pair of really great, comfortable, well-fitting shoes, than to buy 10 pairs of cheap ones that hurt your feet and fall apart after two wears. And this applies to pretty much everything (even yarn!). Sure, it means I spend more on fewer things, but I can tell you I hardly ever replace anything. I’m still wearing clothes and shoes from college, and you can’t tell. Because I’m buying nice stuff, she also taught me…
  8. To be meticulous. I am nearly religious in my pursuit to keep my possessions in just-bought quality – from clothes to furniture to books to my baby dolls. You should always take care of your things. You’re lucky to have them, and if you take care of them, they’ll last a lot longer. And this also includes a general attention to detail, because that’s important in life.
  9. And let go of some of the other things. While it’s important to be meticulous about some things, it’s OK to let go of others. Just because you can make something, doesn’t mean you should do that instead of buying it (sometimes your time and hassle and are not worth it! really!). And though you do your best to keep your things nice, sometimes there are accidents, and it’s important to keep perspective. We’re all healthy and happy, and we’re OK, even if I did ruin my favorite chair within an hour of bringing home my newborn (may still be having some trouble letting that one go). But I’m learning, really.
  10. How to be a mom. Most importantly, my mom has been an amazing example for me of how to be a mom to BK. While I don’t think I will ever be able to live up to her incredible example, I am certainly trying. I try every day to be to BK what my mom is to me.

Love you, mom. x

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