May 9, 2010

Lessons from Moms

Happy Mother's Day to my mom, Dana, my mother-in-law, Paula, and my grandmother, Mary Jean! In honor of you on this day, a few lessons that you've taught me that have served me well.

My mom taught me:
  • "Make a list!" My mom said those words probably more than any other when I was growing up. Anytime we needed anything: "Make a list!" She taught me to plan, organize, and keep things neat and tidy. Part of that, too, was learning to take care of the things I value.
  • Write a thank you note. I am amazed at how many people don't write a note after receiving a gift because I thought everyone did this. My sister and I were required to do this after every birthday and Christmas and now I understand the value of expressing gratitude. And I can always count on receiving a thank you note from my sister!! It's ingrained.
  • Do it right the first time. My mom taught me to do everything excellently and to my best ability.
  • Clean the bathroom before company comes. I used to always complain when we had to clean the house top to bottom before company arrived. I said, "Mom, they don't care if the bathroom is perfect", but she taught me that we are serving and loving our guests by preparing for them.
  • Be generous. My mom is always quick to give to others.
  • Loyalty to family is extremely important.
  • Don't quit. Stick to things even though sometimes they are hard and you don't enjoy them at the time because you'll be glad you have the skills later on (i.e. piano lessons). She was right!
  • There are probably many others. Thanks, Mom! Happy Mother's Day!
From my grandmother, Mary Jean Fleming, I learned:
  • How to cook! My grandmother is the best cook in the world and going to her house for fried chicken, mashed potatoes, salad, and pie with Blue Bell (and many other things) was and is always a treat. I may not cook as good as her, but I have a goal to attain!
  • How to spend a summer day. It should include mud pies, snowcones, playing outside, eating plums, helping make the salad for dinner, painting fingernails, having a tea party, and watching Love Connection in your grandmother's nightgown.
  • The pleasure of sitting outside and going for a walk.
Since being married, from my mother-in-law, Paula, I have learned:
  • There is always fun to be had in any situation.
  • Life is best lived with enthusiasm.
  • Once you pack one toy in your suitcase, you will be expected to always have something fun in your bags each time you visit.
  • A laundry basket is the best suitcase.
  • There is a place called Warshington, D.C.
  • How to love sons well.
Happy Mother's Day to all moms out there.