As you grow, the lessons learned apron-side span the generations; an invisible heirloom, often passed on from mothers to daughters to grand-daughters, much like this story that made the email rounds several years ago:
"The new bride decides to make her mother's famous brisket recipe to impress her husband. While passing through the kitchen, her husband noticed that she cut off the ends of the brisket. Wisely, he kept quiet until after the meal, when he asked why she cut off the best part of the meat.
She replied, 'Oh, that's the way my mother always does it.'
The following week, she went to her grandmother's house, where she watched her grandmother cut off the ends of the brisket.
'Why do you do that, grandma?' she asked.
'That's the only way the meat will fit into the pan,' replied the grandmother.
Nature and nurture. Nurture and nature. A time-old question, one which is not cleanly, nor easily dissected. In my opinion, both matter, but the degree is dependent upon a number of variables."
A recent chat with someone on Twitter revealed a fear of swimming. This person was not afraid of the water because of a bad experience, but rather because of a transferred fear from the mother, who had a bad experience in the water.
Lessons abound. You're always learning; the question is whether the lesson is the one that you wish to learn.
On Mother's Day, you pay homage to mothers, present and past. Mothers by blood and mothers who, although unrelated, grandly and gladly fulfill that role.
This post is to honour my mother who passed away from ovarian cancer. Thank you for these and many other positive lessons:
- Never leave home without a dime in your shoe. Yes, you can tell how long ago I learned that lesson!
- Eye contact is important.
- When preparing a meal, double the recipe. You'll save time and energy.
- There's always room at the table for more guests.
- Manners matter.
- Allow yourself time to arrive at your destination - it's impolite to keep others waiting.
- Do your chores. It was preparation for that thing called life. Oh boy!, did I hate some of those chores!
- Chewing gum in public doesn't look good.
- Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. Long before it was fashionable to be green.
- Forgive freely.
As was to be expected, I did pick up some lessons that she likely didn't intend to pass on to me. Awareness helps with those.
I am also thankful for the lessons she didn't pass on to me; the weighty ones such as her horrific early experiences in Holland during World War 2. She taught me to be open-minded and that people were people, regardless of ethnicity.
As she was dying she also took the time to explain that our alcoholic father, who had died the year before, was proud of us; even if he could never say it, much less show it. Thank you, Mom, for your strength, your courage and your generosity.
What are some of the positive lessons you've learned from your mother?